MAVEN Status Update: Sept. 15, 2014
Everything continues to go well with MAVEN as it is readied for arrival at Mars on Sunday, Sept. 21. All spacecraft systems are operating nominally. We had scheduled a final Trajectory Correction Maneuver (TCM-4) for Sept. 12. However, the maneuver was cancelled because the flight path did not warrant a correction. MAVEN is right on track.
In the next few days the Mars Orbit Insertion (MOI) sequence will commence on the spacecraft. Most commands will be performed autonomously (without the need for commanding from Earth). However, there are two ground command opportunities still available to alter the spacecraft’s flight path, if necessary, in order to raise altitude for its first pass at Mars. These altitude raise decisions will be made by the project at about 24 hours and 6 hours prior to MOI, in close coordination with the navigation team and the navigation advisory group. Right now we don’t expect to need an additional maneuver because of how well the spacecraft is flying.
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MAVEN: Mars Atmosphere and Volatile EvolutioN
Answers About Mars Climate History
The Mars Atmosphere and Volatile EvolutioN (MAVEN) mission, scheduled for launch in late 2013, will be the first mission devoted to understanding the Martian upper atmosphere.
The goal of MAVEN is to determine the role that loss of atmospheric gas to space played in changing the Martian climate through time. Where did the atmosphere – and the water – go?
- MAVEN will determine how much of the Martian atmosphere has been lost over time by measuring the current rate of escape to space and gathering enough information about the relevant processes to allow extrapolation backward in time.
MAVEN Mars Orbit Insertion
On Sept. 21, 2014, the Mars Atmosphere and Volatile Evolution, or MAVEN, spacecraft will enter orbit around Mars, completing an interplanetary journey of 10 months and 442 million miles (711 million kilometers).
Download HD-format videos about MAVEN from NASA Goddard's Scientific Visualization Studio.