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MAVEN Status Update: Feb. 26, 2014

February 26

The MAVEN Electra UHF Transceiver Flight Model is shown here. The Electra telecommunications relay package on MAVEN is being provided by NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, CA. (Courtesy: NASA/JPL-Caltech)

The MAVEN Electra UHF Transceiver Flight Model is shown here. The Electra telecommunications relay package on MAVEN is being provided by NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, CA. (Courtesy: NASA/JPL-Caltech)


On Feb. 19 the MAVEN team successfully completed initial post-launch power-on and checkout of the Electra Ultra High Frequency Transceiver. This completes the initial checkout of all payloads on the MAVEN spacecraft, with everything performing as expected.

The MAVEN Electra payload is part of the NASA Mars Exploration Program’s Mars Relay Network. This network is composed of orbiters, including NASA’s Mars Odyssey and Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter, that provide reliable, high-data-rate relay communications links to landers on the surface of Mars, including NASA’s Opportunity and Curiosity rovers, greatly increasing science data return from the Martian surface. MAVEN will be available to provide relay services on a contingency basis during its prime science mission and will routinely provide relay support during an anticipated extended mission. MAVEN’s Electra payload is provided and operated by NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif.

MAVEN’s principal investigator is based at the University of Colorado Boulder’s Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics in Boulder, Colo. The university provided science instruments and leads science operations, as well as education and public outreach, for the mission. NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md., manages the project and provided two of the science instruments for the mission. Lockheed Martin built the spacecraft and is responsible for mission operations. The University of California at Berkeley’s Space Sciences Laboratory provided science instruments for the mission. NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory provides navigation support, Deep Space Network support, and Electra telecommunications relay hardware and operations.

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