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NASA Craft Maven Arrives at Mars

Written by: Communicator StaffSeptember 21, 2014

Sean Godfroy

On Sunday night, the spacecraft entered the orbit of Mars to examine its atmosphere over the next several months. Short for Martian Atmosphere and Volatile Evolution, Maven is tasked with discovering what happened to Mars’ atmosphere long ago to render it uninhabitable and reduce the planet’s temperature. This study will tell them how the atmosphere is deteriorating and how fast. The craft’s first six weeks will be spent fine-tuning the survey equipment for optimal observation. Afterwards, the craft will be able to function autonomously. However, before it begins observing the planet, it will examine a rare comet that will be passing by Mars in October. For safety, Maven will be on the far side of Mars to prevent damage from the comet’s dust trail.
For the full story, check out this New York Times article.