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Kind: Mars atmospheric research

State: Operational

Place: Mars

Operator: NASA



Duration: 1 Earth year.Science phase extended indefinitelyOperating as telecomm relay from 2019.

Mission Ending

"Life's like a movie, write your own ending. Keep believing, keep pretending." - Jim Henson


Rocket: Atlas V 401 AV-038

Kind: NASA

Manufacturer: Lockheed MartinCU BoulderBerkeleyNASA GSFC

Mass: 2,454 kg (5,410 lb)

Launch Site: Cape Canaveral SLC-41


"Requesting permission for flyby." Maverick - Top Gun


Reference System: Areocentric (Mars)

1º Orbit: Mars


"The journey, not the arrival, matters; the voyage, not the landing." - Paul Theroux

Mars Atmosphere and Volatile Evolution (MAVEN) is a spacecraft developed by NASA that went into orbit around Mars to study the planet's atmosphere. Mission goals include determining how the atmosphere and water, presumed to have once been substantial, were lost over time. MAVEN was launched aboard an Atlas V launch vehicle at the beginning of the first launch window on November 18, 2013. Following the first engine burn of the Centaur second stage, the vehicle coasted in low Earth orbit for 27 minutes before a second Centaur burn of 5 minutes to insert it into a heliocentric Mars transit orbit. On September 22, 2014, MAVEN reached Mars and was inserted into an elliptic orbit 6,200 km (3,900 mi) by 150 km (93 mi) above the planet's surface. The principal investigator for the spacecraft is Bruce Jakosky of the Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics at the University of Colorado Boulder. On November 5, 2015, NASA announced that data from MAVEN shows that the deterioration of Mars' atmosphere increases significantly during solar storms. That loss of atmosphere to space likely played a key role in Mars' gradual shift from its carbon dioxide-dominated atmosphere – which had kept Mars relatively warm and allowed the planet to support liquid surface water – to the cold, arid planet seen today. This shift took place between about 4.2 and 3.7 billion years ago.