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Monday, July 17, 2017

MAVEN

Mission Overview:

     MAVEN is expanded as Mars Atmospheric Volatile Evolution Mission, was an American spacecraft launched by National Aeronautics Space Administration (NASA) to study the Mars atmosphere and evolution of gases. This spacecraft was designed under the supervision of Lockheed Martin.It was launched on 28 November 2013, after the successful launch of Indian Mars Spacecraft Mangalyaan (Mars Orbiter Mission).


Mission Proposal:

      MAVEN mission was originated from American Mars Scout Program. Mission was designed and tested by Lockheed Martin Space Subsystems. After the completion of spacecraft, it arrived Kennedy Space Center for launch in August of 2013. But the launch was delayed due to down of the government. Finally it was scheduled to launch in 28 November 2013.Maven is similar to previous Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter and Mars Odyssey.

Start of Mission:

      Mars Atmospheric Volatile Evolution Mission was started with the successful launch on 28 November. After a 10 month journey to mars Maven entered the martian orbit on 22 September 2014 at 02:24 UTC.

Objectives:

   There are four primary objectives of the spacecraft are
  • To measure - how much volatile compounds is escaped from Martian atmosphere to space
  • To measure the rate of escaping atmosphere into space
  • To report the current status of martian upper atmosphere, ionosphere and its interactions with solar wind
  • To measure the availability of stable isotopes on Mars
  An instrument called Sample Analysis for Mars (SAM) mounted on board of Curiosity Rover will investigate Mars atmosphere from the Gale creator. It will help Maven to interpret upper atmosphere of Mars.
  
Scientific Instruments:
  • Particle and Field Package
    • Solar wind electron analyser
    • Solar wind ion analyser
    • Supra-Thermal and Thermal  Ion Composition
    • Solar Energetic Particle
    • Langmuir Probes and Waves
    • Magnetometer
  • Remote Sensing package
    • Imaging Ultraviolet Spectrometer
  • Neutral gas and ion mass spectrometer 
Mission Status:

     Maven is currently in operation and active. its first phase ended in November 2014 and its second science phase started in June of 2015. Maven has enough fuel to extend its mission for next to years and can orbit around mars as orbiter for next 6 years. 

Discoveries:
    • On 5 November 2015, Scientists reported that the Solar wind is responsible for the stripping away of Martian Atmosphere
    • Mars lost its magnetic shield, because the planetary dynamo is cooled
    • It loses water into thin atmosphere by evaporation and the Solar wind splits the water into hydrogen and oxygen.
    • Hydrogen gas rises high into the Martian atmosphere due to its lightness and lost to space by several processes.
    • The rate of loss of hydrogen into space increases. This was noted from the beginning, when the Maven entered the Martian Orbit.   
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