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MAVEN Status Update: Dec. 23, 2013

December 23, 2013

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.

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.

Approaching 10.5 million km (6.5 million miles) from Earth, the MAVEN spacecraft continues to operate nominally in early cruise phase. Cruise navigation solutions and tracking measurements are consistent with the post Trajectory Correction Maneuver-1 (TCM-1) maneuver navigation solutions. TCM-1 was successfully performed on Dec. 3, 2013, imparting a delta-V (Δv) of about 4.8 m/s to the spacecraft, as expected.

MAVEN’s Earth-centered velocity is 3.27 km/second (2.03 mi/s or 7,308 mph), whereas its Sun-centered velocity is 33.15 km/s (20.6 mi/s or 74,203 mph).

The spacecraft has travelled ~100,000,000 km (62,000,000 miles) on its heliocentric transfer path to Mars. The current distance from Mars is ~205,000,000 km (127,000,000 miles).

The figure shown here is a representation of MAVEN’s “Type-II” trajectory, which will carry the spacecraft more than 180 degrees around the Sun in its interplanetary Hohmann transfer orbit. For more information about MAVEN’s science orbit after arrival at Mars, please see: http://lasp.colorado.edu/home/maven/science/science-orbit/

MAVEN remains on schedule for Mars Orbit Insertion on September 21, 2014.

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