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The Mars Atmosphere and Volatile Evolution mission (MAVEN) launched on November 18, 2013, and entered orbit around Mars on September 21, 2014. The mission’s goal is to explore the planet’s upper atmosphere, ionosphere, and interactions with the Sun and solar wind. Scientists will use MAVEN data to explore the loss of volatile compounds—such as CO2, N2, and H2O—from the Martian atmosphere to space. Understanding atmospheric loss will give scientists insight into the history of Mars' atmosphere and climate, liquid water, and planetary habitability.

MAVEN Team Blog

MAVEN Status Update: Sept. 22, 2014

September 23

David F. Mitchell, MAVEN Project Manager at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center

Right on schedule last night at 9:50 p.m. EDT, the MAVEN spacecraft fired its main engines for 33 minutes and 26 seconds in order to slow down the spacecraft enough to capture into Mars orbit. Following that event at about 10:30 p.m. EDT, David Folta, the Goddard Mission Design/Navigation lead—stationed at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory—made the call that we were all waiting for, “Based on observed navigation data, congratulations, MAVEN is now in Mars orbit!”

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