NASA’s Mars Atmosphere and Volatile Evolution (MAVEN) spacecraft successfully entered Mars’ orbit at 18:24 p.m. yesterday, where it now will prepare to study the Red Planet’s upper atmosphere as never done before.
MAVEN is the first spacecraft dedicated to exploring the tenuous upper atmosphere of Mars.
Following orbit insertion, MAVEN will begin a six-week commissioning phase that includes maneuvering into its final science orbit and testing the instruments and science-mapping commands. MAVEN then will begin its one Earth-year primary mission, taking measurements of the composition, structure and escape of gases in Mars’ upper atmosphere and its interaction with the sun and solar wind.
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