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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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2014

MAVEN Status Update: August 29, 2014

August 30

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

MAVEN continues on a smooth journey to Mars. All spacecraft systems are operating nominally. Since we are now in a “pre-Mars Orbit Insertion (MOI) moratorium”, all instruments are powered off until after we arrive at the Red Planet.

We had scheduled a final Trajectory Correction Maneuver (TCM-4) for September 12th. The first and second TCMs occurred in December 2013 and February 2014, respectively. The scheduled TCM-3 in July was cancelled because the flight path at the time did not warrant a correction maneuver. As a result of a meeting held on August 26th, it now appears that TCM-4 will also be cancelled. We are tracking right where we want to be. On September 4th we will make a final decision on cancelling this last TCM.

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MAVEN Status Update: July 31, 2014

July 31

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

MAVEN continues on a smooth journey to Mars. All spacecraft and instrument systems are operating nominally. This month was a busy time for spacecraft operations. We performed a series of tests on the Electra telecom relay package, some of the Particles & Fields instruments from the University of California-Berkeley, the mass spectrometer from the Goddard Space Flight Center, and the spacecraft star trackers. The team also did a second round of magnetometer calibrations. The Goddard-built magnetometers are located at the tips of the spacecraft solar arrays. The calibration was conducted by rolling the spacecraft, using thrusters, about the three spacecraft axes.

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MAVEN Particles and Fields: Exploring the Solar Wind Beyond 1 A.U.

July 2

As part of its goal to explore Mars’ upper atmosphere and its interaction with the sun and the solar wind, MAVEN is exploring propagation of the solar wind and solar energetic particles (SEPs) beyond 1 Astronomical Unit (149,597,871 kilometers or 92,955,807 miles) during its cruise to Mars.

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MAVEN Status Update: June 27, 2014

June 27

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

MAVEN continues on a smooth journey to Mars. All spacecraft and instrument systems are operating nominally. This month has been a rather quiet period for spacecraft operations. A big focus in June was to rehearse, test, and in some cases stress, the team in preparation for MAVEN’s arrival at Mars in September. We held an operational readiness test simulating the Mars Orbit Insertion (MOI) event focused on the last three days leading to MOI. Team members were located at the sites where they will be stationed in September (Lockheed Martin/Denver, NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland, and the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California). We ran the test using a simulator instead of the real spacecraft. The simulator sent data to consoles around the country projecting MAVEN spacecraft conditions as if it were real. A Rehearsal Anomaly Team (or “RAT”) injected red card events into the system and that’s when the “fun” would happen to see how the team responded to unexpected events. It was a great learning experience that will support us well when MAVEN enters Mars orbit for real in September.

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MAVEN IUVS Gets First View of Mars

June 10

MAVEN’s Imaging UltraViolet Spectrograph (IUVS) made calibration observations of Mars on May 21, 2014, four months before Mars Orbit Insertion (September 21). Despite the spacecraft’s relative great distance from Mars (35 million km or ~22 million miles), IUVS detected the planet and obtained a spectrum of Mars’ sunlit disk in the mid-UV range.

Since Mars still appears smaller than a pixel, the spectrum does not yet reveal information about the atmosphere; essentially all spectral features are due to the Sun.

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MAVEN Status Update: May 1, 2014

May 1
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MAVEN Status Update: Mar. 27, 2014

March 27
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MAVEN Status Update: Feb. 27, 2014

February 27
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MAVEN Status Update: Feb. 26, 2014

February 26
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MAVEN Status Update: January 24, 2014

January 24
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MAVEN Status Update: January 9, 2014

January 9
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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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