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Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Monday, January 24, 2011

Solving the Mystery of the Ancient Mars Atmosphere





The objectives of MAVEN are described in this video and the instrument packages responsible for each scientific goal are demonstrated as they will appear on the spacecraft.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Introduction to the Mars Atmosphere and Volatile Evolution Mission (MAVEN)

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 will have four primary scientific objectives:
1) Determine the role that loss of volatiles from the Mars atmosphere to space has played through time
2) Determine the current state of the upper atmosphere, ionosphere, and interactions with the solar wind
3) Determine the current rates of escape of neutral gases and ions to space and the processes controlling them
4) Determine the ratios of stable isotopes in the Martian atmosphere

The instrument suites will include:
    Particles and Field (P&F)Package
  • Solar Wind Electron Analyzer
  • Solar Wind Ion Analyzer (SWIA)
  • Suprathermal and Thermal Ion Composition
  • Solar Energetic Particle (SEP)
  • Lagmuir Probe and Waves (LPW)
  • Magnetometer (MAG)
  • Remote Sensing (RS) Package
  • Imaging Ultraviolet Spectrometer
  • Neutral Gas and Ion Mass Spectrometer (NGIMS)