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Team Blog

MAVEN team at Goddard Space Flight Center for Critical Design Review

The MAVEN team at the Critical Design Review in July 2011. Several hundred additional scientists, engineers, and support personnel are contributing to the success of MAVEN, but were not present at the review. (Courtesy MAVEN)


The MAVEN team includes experts from many institutions and disciplines. The team blog is a forum for these individuals to share their personal experiences with the MAVEN community. From exploring the science of the mission, to the engineering behind the instrumentation, from the complex aspects of project management, to the access and use of data products, we hope you enjoy the opportunity to engage with the MAVEN team through these anecdotes.

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2015

MAVEN Status Update: February 11, 2015

February 11

Bruce Jakosky, MAVEN principal investigator at CU-Boulder’s Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics

MAVEN is about to carry out its first “deep-dip” campaign. This involves lowering the lowest altitude in the orbit from about 150 km above the surface to about 125 km. We do this so that we can measure the properties of that additional 25 km of the upper atmosphere between 150 and 125 km. It doesn’t seem like much, but this lets us go all the way down to the top of what we call the lower atmosphere, and it will let us make the connection then from the top of the upper atmosphere all the way down to the surface.

We’ll use three rocket-motor burns to lower the orbit, spread over three days. We do it gradually so that the spacecraft can “walk in” and we don’t get taken by surprise by anything along the way. Then we’ll stay in the “deep dip” orbit for five days, which covers about 20 orbits around the planet. Finally, we’ll use two maneuvers to “walk” back out and get back to our regular science mapping orbit.

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2014

MAVEN Status Update: December 3, 2014

December 3, 2014

David F. Mitchell, MAVEN Project Manager at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center

MAVEN is now fully into its Science Phase at Mars and the scientists have been releasing exciting results, not the least of which were recent findings from the Comet Siding Spring encounter. The Imaging Ultraviolet Spectrometer was able to observe intense emissions from magnesium and iron ions in the atmosphere in the aftermath of the comet encounter. The Neutral Gas and Ion Mass Spectrometer directly sampled and determined the composition of comet dust in Mars’ atmosphere, something that has never been done before. Our Solar Energetic Particle instrument observed significant solar activity both in the form of flares and coronal mass ejections from the Sun to Mars. We also generated a map of Mars’ ozone layer in the lower atmosphere. Finally, we’ve been able to provide a view of the escaping atmosphere of Mars showing the loss of atomic oxygen, atomic carbon, and atomic hydrogen.

Great science with much more to come!

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MAVEN Status Update: Nov. 29, 2014

November 29, 2014

As of Friday, November 28, the MAVEN science instruments have been turned back on following safe-mode recovery, and we have resumed collecting science data.

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MAVEN Status Update: Nov. 22, 2014

November 22, 2014

After ground testing and careful review over the last two days, MAVEN was successfully brought out of Safehold Mode this afternoon. The spacecraft is operating nominally in Earth-Point Mode with high-rate communications. All the instruments are safe and are currently off. The spacecraft will be monitored over the weekend to ensure a safe condition before the instruments are turned back on.

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MAVEN Status Update: Nov. 20, 2014

November 20, 2014

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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MAVEN Status Update: Oct. 31, 2014

October 31, 2014
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MAVEN Status Update: Oct. 15, 2014

October 15, 2014
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MAVEN Status Update: Oct. 10, 2014

October 10, 2014
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MAVEN Status Update: Sept. 30, 2014

September 30, 2014
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MAVEN Status Update: Sept. 22, 2014

September 23, 2014
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MAVEN Status Update: Sept. 21, 2014

September 21, 2014
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MAVEN Status Update: Sept. 15, 2014

September 15, 2014
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MAVEN Status Update: August 29, 2014

August 30, 2014
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MAVEN Status Update: July 31, 2014

July 31, 2014
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MAVEN Particles and Fields: Exploring the Solar Wind Beyond 1 A.U.

July 2, 2014
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MAVEN Status Update: June 27, 2014

June 27, 2014
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MAVEN IUVS Gets First View of Mars

June 10, 2014
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MAVEN Status Update: May 1, 2014

May 1, 2014
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MAVEN Status Update: Mar. 27, 2014

March 27, 2014
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MAVEN Status Update: Feb. 27, 2014

February 27, 2014
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MAVEN Status Update: Feb. 26, 2014

February 26, 2014
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MAVEN Status Update: January 24, 2014

January 24, 2014
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MAVEN Status Update: January 9, 2014

January 9, 2014
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2013

MAVEN Status Update: Dec. 23, 2013

December 23, 2013
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MAVEN Status Update: Dec. 5, 2013

December 5, 2013
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MAVEN Status Update: Dec. 4, 2013

December 4, 2013
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MAVEN Status Update: Dec. 3, 2013

December 4, 2013
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MAVEN Status Update: Nov. 25, 2013

December 3, 2013
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MAVEN spacecraft successfully launches to Mars

November 18, 2013
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Atlas V/Centaur Fully Fueled

November 18, 2013
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MAVEN Countdown Underway

November 18, 2013
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Weather forecast for MAVEN launch remains 60 percent “Go”

November 17, 2013
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MAVEN Arrives at Pad for Launch

November 16, 2013
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MAVEN’s weekend plans

November 16, 2013
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MAVEN ‘Go’ to Proceed Toward Monday Launch

November 15, 2013
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MAVEN Powered On Ahead of Launch

November 14, 2013
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Weather Forecast: 60 Percent ‘Go’

November 14, 2013
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MAVEN mated to Atlas V in Vertical Integration Facility (VIF)

November 9, 2013
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MAVEN reactivation status update

October 3, 2013
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Environmental Testing

June 20, 2013
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A conversation about Education and Public Outreach

March 11, 2013
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2012

Did Solar Storms Blow Away the Atmosphere of Mars?

December 27, 2012
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Preparing for Science Data

October 25, 2012
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The MAVEN Science Data Center

August 27, 2012
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The life of a MAVEN instrument lead

June 26, 2012
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2011

MAVEN is a Team Effort

August 26, 2011
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Where is MAVEN in The Development Process?

August 11, 2011
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Viking Lander 35th Anniversary

July 26, 2011
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What goes around comes around

June 7, 2011
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Critical Design Review “Season”

May 13, 2011
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Fewer Than One Thousand Days Until MAVEN Launches

February 25, 2011
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Even Single Events Can Be Very Upsetting

January 7, 2011
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2010

MAVEN will launch on an Atlas V launch vehicle

December 15, 2010
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Solving problems as they come up on MAVEN

December 3, 2010
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MAVEN gets the green light to go to the red planet

October 13, 2010
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MAVEN and the Mars Science Laboratory

September 13, 2010
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2016 Trace Gas Orbiter Mission

August 16, 2010
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MAVEN Passes Preliminary Design Review

July 28, 2010
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MAVEN Preliminary Design Review

July 7, 2010
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Being the MAVEN Principal Investigator

June 8, 2010
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