Quick Facts: Mars Atmosphere and Volatile Evolution Mission (MAVEN)

Mission Introduction


An artist’s conception of the MAVEN Mars orbiter shows the spacecraft with images of Mars in the background. (Courtesy NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center)

The Mars Atmosphere and Volatile Evolution Mission (MAVEN) launched from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station on November 18, 2013 and entered Mars’ orbit on September 21, 2014. MAVEN is the second mission in NASA’s Mars Scout program and the first to explore the planet’s upper atmosphere, ionosphere, and interactions with the sun and solar wind. Scientists will use MAVEN data to determine the role that loss of volatile compounds, such as CO2, N2, and H2O, from the Mars atmosphere to space has played over time, giving insight into the history of Mars atmosphere and climate, liquid water, and planetary habitability. LASP is the lead institution for the MAVEN mission and the MAVEN Principal Investigator is Dr. Bruce Jakosky.

LASP Roles

LASP provides:

  • Principal Investigator Bruce Jakosky
  • The Imaging Ultraviolet Spectrograph (IUVS) instrument
  • The Langmuir Probe and Waves (LPW) instrument (jointly with the Space Sciences Laboratory)
    • The Extreme Ultraviolet (EUV) Sensor
    • Electronics boards
  • Science operations, science data center, and Education and Public Outreach
Imaging Ultraviolet Spectrometer

The IUVS instrument measures global characteristics of the upper atmosphere and ionosphere of Mars. (Courtesy NASA/LASP)

LASP Instruments

The IUVS determines the global characteristics of the upper atmosphere and ionosphere via remote sensing; and the LPW determines ionospheric properties, wave heating of the upper atmosphere, and solar EUV input to the atmosphere.

For more information about the MAVEN mission, see: http://lasp.colorado.edu/maven

Quick Facts

Launch date: Nov. 18, 2013
Launch location: Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Florida
Launch vehicle: Atlas V-401
Mission target: Mars
Mission duration: One Earth year
Other key dates:

  • Mars Orbit Insertion: Sept. 21, 2014

Other organizations involved:

  • NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center
  • University of California, Berkeley
  • Lockheed Martin Corporation
  • NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory

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