MAVEN Status Update: January 24, 2014
The six instruments that comprise the PFP make detailed measurements of the properties of the Martian upper atmosphere, ionosphere, the input of solar energy into the upper atmosphere, the magnetic field, and ions that have enough energy to escape from the atmosphere to space. These measurements are central to understanding the loss of atmospheric gas to space that is occurring today and to determining what the history of loss through time has been.
As of January 22nd, 448 uplinks have been sent to the spacecraft since launch. MAVEN is 16.8 million kilometers (10.4 million miles) from Earth and 156.7 million kilometers (97.4 million miles) from Mars. Our second Trajectory Correction Maneuver (TCM-2) will occur on February 26th and will fine tune our approach path to Mars. The team also plans to activate the Electra telecommunications relay package in February.
Click on the image below to view an assortment of MAVEN PFP images.