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Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics

MAVEN Status Update: Dec. 3, 2013

December 4, 2013
MAVEN was launched into a Hohmann Transfer Orbit with periapsis at Earth’s orbit and apoapsis at the distance of Mars' orbit. The spacecraft will travel more than 180 degrees around the Sun in its transfer orbit, which requires 10 months to set the stage for Mars Orbit Insertion in September 2014.

MAVEN was launched into a Hohmann Transfer Orbit with periapsis at Earth’s orbit and apoapsis at the distance of the orbit of Mars. The spacecraft will travel more than 180 degrees around the Sun in its transfer orbit, which requires 10 months to set the stage for Mars Orbit Insertion in September 2014.

On December 3, 2013, MAVEN mission controllers performed a successful trajectory correction maneuver, also known as a TCM. Post-maneuver data review shows that TCM-1 went according to plan. This maneuver removed the planetary protection bias. The planetary protection bias involves initially “aiming” to miss Mars, so that the launch vehicle upper stage (which is on a trajectory very similar to MAVEN’s) doesn’t accidentally hit the planet. The maneuver also enabled the team to check out the performance of the Mars Orbit Insertion thrusters and TCM thrusters. TCM-2 is scheduled for Feb. 26, 2014.

MAVEN is at a distance of 2.9 million miles from Earth. The current velocity is 74,025 mph as it moves around the Sun. MAVEN has already traveled nearly 26 million miles on its journey to Mars.

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