MAVEN entered orbit around Mars at 10:24 p.m.EDT Sunday, Sept 21, 2014.
After launching on Nov. 18, 2013 and a 10 month trip covering 442 million miles the MAVEN Spacecraft successfully entered its initial orbit. The trajectory calculations were so accurate the third and fourth correction maneuvers were not needed. Cheers went up from the mission support at Lockheed Martin in Littleton, Colorado when confirmation was received from MAVEN.
The MAVEN Project has taken 11 years from concept to reaching orbit. during the next six weeks, MAVEN will be maneuvered into its final orbit path. The hard part is over, but now the science begins.
Sampling the atmosphere at various altitudes around Mars,scientists at the University of Colorado and other facilities, hope to obtain a better understanding as to what happened to the martian atmosphere over time. The primary mission will take one year to complete. It will also provide better understanding of the habitability of mars with future manned missions in the 2030’s.
Congratulations, goes out to the entire MAVEN Project team for getting the bird into orbit!!!
Congrats, Pat. Thanks for the belated birthday present. 🙂
See previous posts on the MAVEN Project here.