MAVEN Makes a Successful Orbit Insertion around Mars

Today, Sept. 22, 2014, MAVEN arrived on Mars and made its burn to go into orbit insertion around the red planet.

MAVEN is a spacecraft, sent by NASA to the red planet to study the upper atmosphere of Mars in order to answer questions like “What was the process through which Mars became the desolate place that it is today?”, “Where did the water on Mars go?” and “Where did the CO2 on Mars go?”.

MAVEN was launched on Nov. 18, 2013 from Earth and today it finally arrived on Mars. Since it travels with a very high speed, it had to make a ~ 35 min. burn above Mars’s North pole in order to slow down and be captured by the Martian gravity and to stay in a preliminary orbit of around 35 hours around the planet. In the course of the next days, it will make more burns to adjust into its final orbit of ~ 4.5 hours and a periapsis of only ~ 150 km above the Martian surface to be able to study the upper atmosphere.

MAVEN orbit insertion

In the next weeks, as a bonus, after MAVEN commissions its instruments, it will study the comet Siding Spring that will pass very near to Mars at ~ 130,000 km and it will take measurements of the Martian atmosphere before and after the comet passing.

Here is a very interesting Planetary Radio talk from today regarding MAVEN:


Here is a the latest video of the post- MAVEN orbit insertion press conference:

And a video of the pre- MAVEN orbit insertion press conference:

And for those who are interested, a video of the MAVEN pre- launch science briefing where they explain in detail what the spacecraft will do on Mars:

Here are several images of MAVEN in its assembly clean room, months before its launch and images of comet Siding Spring:

For more news about MAVEN: NEWS

Here are several MAVEN videos explaining more about MAVEN:

by Tihomir Dimitrov
The Human Adventures in Space Exploration – 09.2014
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