Mars Atmosphere and Volatile Evolution

Deciphering Mars' atmospheric history


The Mars Atmosphere and Volatile Evolution (MAVEN) mission began orbiting Mars on September 21, 2014. The mission goal is to determine how Mars lost its atmosphere and how this played in changing the Martian climate through time. Where did the atmosphere—and the water—go? The eight instruments on board are gathering information about the Martian upper atmosphere to help scientists understand how the Red Planet’s climate changed from warm and wet to today’s cold, dry conditions.

Mission Class:

Larger Missions

Mission Status:


LASP Roles:

Research, Instruments, Data, Lead Institute

Science Target:


Mission Focus:

Planetary Atmosphere, Planetary Dust, Planetary Magnetosphere, Space Weather

Primary Mission Site:


Launch date: November 18, 2013
Orbit Insertion: September 14, 2014
Prime mission: 2 years
Extended mission: 2025 

Lead institution: LASP

Lead Funding Agency: NASA Planetary Sciences

Partners: NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Lockheed Martin Corp., University of California, Berkeley/Space Science Laboratory, NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory, NASA Headquarters