The Mars Atmosphere and Volatile Evolution (MAVEN) mission is designed to explore Mars’ upper atmosphere and its interactions with the Sun and solar wind. The goal of MAVEN is to understand the processes controlling the structure and composition of the upper atmosphere and ionosphere of Mars, to determine the escape rate of gas to space today, and to understand the processes controlling it. Data obtained from MAVEN will allow scientists to extrapolate backwards in time and determine the total atmospheric loss to space throughout Martian history.
MAVEN has been in orbit around Mars since September 21, 2014, and is about five months into its one-Earth-year primary mission. All of the instruments are collecting data as intended, and we are beginning to see the full range of processes that are operating at Mars; this includes some unanticipated results. During this presentation, MAVEN principal investigator, Dr. Bruce Jakosky, will discuss the mission and its early science results.
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