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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: Nov. 20, 2014

November 20

MAVEN went into safehold mode on Wednesday, Nov. 19. The spacecraft goes into this state autonomously, when it detects a problem with its operations, to ensure that it stays safe and in contact with Earth. Safehold was triggered by a timing conflict between commands. This is part of learning how to operate the spacecraft in a new environment, as this is the first time the spacecraft has been in its full science-operations scenario. The instruments have all been turned off and are safe, the spacecraft is healthy and in high-data-rate contact with Earth. The spacecraft operations team is currently developing the schedule to return MAVEN to science operations.

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