MAVEN Status Update: Dec. 3, 2014
MAVEN is now fully into its science phase at Mars and the scientists have been releasing exciting results, not the least of which were recent findings from the Comet Siding Spring encounter. The Imaging Ultraviolet Spectrometer was able to observe intense emissions from magnesium and iron ions in the atmosphere in the aftermath of the comet encounter. The Neutral Gas and Ion Mass Spectrometer directly sampled and determined the composition of comet dust in Mars’ atmosphere, something that has never been done before. Our Solar Energetic Particle instrument observed significant solar activity both in the form of flares and coronal mass ejections from the sun to Mars. We also generated a map of Mars’ ozone layer in the lower atmosphere. Finally, we’ve been able to provide a view of the escaping atmosphere of Mars showing the loss of atomic oxygen, atomic carbon and atomic hydrogen. Great science with much more to come!
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.
Download HD-format videos about MAVEN from NASA Goddard's Scientific Visualization Studio.