Ten days until MAVEN is placed into orbit around Mars.
On November 18th of 2013, I had the enormous pleasure to witness the launch of this space mission along side members of the project team. Our viewing site was at the base of the Assembly Building at the Kennedy Space Center. It was a bucket list event to say the least.
Since then MAVEN has been hurtling toward Mars at over 27,000 miles an hour. All in-flight tests to date have been successful and the control center is buzzing with anticipation of the September 21st when, at 10:23 PM MST, MAVEN will be placed into orbit around the Red Planet. The process is described in this YouTube video.
I am always amazed by the science and mathematics involved in these projects. If the numbers used to calculate the trajectory of Mars, the Earth, or Maven are off, or the length of burn to enter orbit, a multi-million dollar scientific instrument can become just so much space junk. That’s why the term ‘failure is not an option’ is so closely related to the space program.
I am proud of the team who have spent years preparing for this. And, though I will not be able to sit in the control room as MAVEN enters orbit, rest assured that I will be glued to the NASA channel on my television. You will hear me cheering as the final corrections are made. Join with me in celebrating an achievement of dedicated people seeking knowledge that will help us understand one of the mysteries of space and perhaps understand our own planet.
If you are interested in my previous posts on the MAVEN Project, they can be found here.