NASA Selects Mission To Study Mars Atmosphere | Aero-News Network
Aero-News Network
RSS icon RSS feed
podcast icon MP3 podcast
Subscribe Aero-News e-mail Newsletter Subscribe

Airborne Unlimited -- Recent Daily Episodes

Episode Date

Monday

Tuesday

Wednesday

Thursday

Friday

Airborne On ANN

Airborne 03.23.15

Airborne 03.24.15

Airborne 03.25.15

Airborne 03.26.15

Airborne 03.20.15

Airborne Hi-Def On YouTube

Airborne 03.23.15

Airborne 03.24.15

Airborne 03.25.15

Airborne 03.26.15

Airborne 03.20.15

Tue, Sep 16, 2008

NASA Selects Mission To Study Mars Atmosphere

MAVEN To Head To Red Planet In Late 2013

NASA has selected a Mars robotic mission that will provide information about the Red Planet's atmosphere, climate history and potential habitability in greater detail than ever before.

Called the Mars Atmosphere and Volatile EvolutioN (MAVEN) spacecraft, the $485 million mission is scheduled for launch in late 2013. The selection was evaluated to have the best science value and lowest implementation risk from 20 mission investigation proposals submitted in response to a NASA Announcement of Opportunity in August 2006.

"This mission will provide the first direct measurements ever taken to address key scientific questions about Mars' evolution," said Doug McCuistion, director of the Mars Exploration Program at NASA Headquarters in Washington.

Mars once had a denser atmosphere that supported the presence of liquid water on the surface. As part of a dramatic climate change, most of the Martian atmosphere was lost. MAVEN will make definitive scientific measurements of present-day atmospheric loss that will offer clues about the planet's history.

"The loss of Mars' atmosphere has been an ongoing mystery," McCuistion said. "MAVEN will help us solve it."

The principal investigator for the mission is Bruce Jakosky of the Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics at the University of Colorado at Boulder. The university will receive $6 million to fund mission planning and technology development during the next year.

NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, MD will manage the project. Lockheed Martin of Littleton, CO will build the spacecraft based on designs from NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter and 2001 Mars Odyssey missions. The team will begin mission design and implementation in the fall of 2009.

After arriving at Mars in the fall of 2014, MAVEN will use its propulsion system to enter an elliptical orbit ranging 90 to 3,870 miles above the planet. The spacecraft's eight science instruments will take measurements during a full Earth year, which is roughly equivalent to half of a Martian year. MAVEN also will dip to an altitude 80 miles above the planet to sample Mars' entire upper atmosphere. During and after its primary science mission, the spacecraft may be used to provide communications relay support for robotic missions on the Martian surface.

"MAVEN will obtain critical measurements that the National Academy of Science listed as being of high priority in their 2003 decadal survey on planetary exploration," said Michael Meyer, the Mars chief scientist at NASA Headquarters. "This field of study also was highlighted in the 2005 NASA Roadmap for New Science of the Sun-Earth System Connection."

The Mars Scout Program is designed to send a series of small, low-cost, principal investigator-led missions to the Red Planet. The Phoenix Mars Lander was the first spacecraft selected under the program.

As ANN reported, Phoenix landed on the icy northern polar region of Mars on May 25, 2008. The spacecraft completed its prime science mission on August 25, though the lander's mission has been extended through September 30... at which time NASA expects the lander's power supply to wane, due to the lack of solar energy available during the Martian winter.

FMI: www.nasa.gov/mars

Advertisement

More News

Germanwings Pilot Apparently Locked Out Of Cockpit

CVR Indicates Pounding On Cockpit Door, Shouting For It To Be Opened Data retrieved from the Cockpit Voice Recorder (CVR) aboard the Germanwings Airbus A320 that went down in the F>[...]

Airborne 03.25.15: HR476 Opposed, AEA2015 LIVE Schedule, Airbus' 9000th A/C

Also: Nanchang CJ-6A, USAF T-X Program, UK AAIB Withholds Info, Aussie Aero-Politics, GPS Errors Found, ATC Reform House Bill HR 476 will eliminate G.I. training benefits for those>[...]

Airborne 03.26.15: Airbus Crash 'Pilot Induced', B-29 Rollout, CC Rockets Ready

Also: ALPA v UAVs, Aero-Community Update: XPrize, FAA Streamlines UAS COAs, Airport Infrastructure, ATC Reform, New SpaceX Rocket Data retrieved from the Cockpit Voice Recorder (CV>[...]

ANN's Daily Aero-Linx (03.27.15)

Fun Places To Fly It may still be cold and snowy where you are, but spring is here and the flying weather will soon start to get better everywhere.>[...]

ANN's Daily Aero-Term (03.27.15): Fly-By Waypoint

A waypoint designed to permit early turns, thus allowing the aircraft to roll out onto the center of the desired track to the next waypoint.>[...]

blog comments powered by Disqus



Advertisement

Advertisement

Podcasts

Advertisement

© 2007 - 2015 Web Development & Design by Pauli Systems, LC