The Science Behind MAVEN, NASA’s Next Mars Mission
On Sunday, Nov. 17, a mission science briefing was broadcast on NASA TV to discuss the Mars-bound spacecraft, the Mars Atmosphere and Volatile EvolutionN, or MAVEN, set to launch aboard a United Launch Alliance Atlas V 401 rocket Nov. 18. MAVEN is the second mission for NASA’s Mars Scout Program and will obtain critical measurements of the Martian upper atmosphere to help understand the climate change over the Red Planet’s history and is the first spacecraft devoted to exploring and understanding the Martian upper atmosphere. It will orbit the planet in an elliptical orbit that allows it to pass through and sample the entire upper atmosphere on every orbit. The spacecraft will investigate how the loss of Mars’ atmosphere to space determined the history of water on the surface.
The participants in the mission science briefing were:
-Michael Meyer, lead Mars scientist NASA Headquarters, Washington
-Bruce Jakosky, MAVEN principal investigator Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics, University of Colorado at Boulder
-Janet Luhmann, MAVEN deputy principal investigator University of California at Berkeley
-Nick Schneider, MAVEN IUVS instrument lead Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics, University of Colorado at Boulder
-Paul Mahaffy, MAVEN NGIMS instrument lead NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Md.
-David L. Mitchell, MAVEN SWEA instrument lead, University of California at Berkeley