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MAVEN Mission Reaches Mars Orbit to Investigate Atmosphere

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posted on Sep, 21 2014 @ 04:57 AM
There are actually two missions that'll reach Mars Orbit this week: one is India's Mangalyaan orbiter (a 'first' in indian space flight history) and the other is NASA's MAVEN orbiter.

The latter is IMO particularly interesting because it carries instruments to investigate current atmospheric conditions on Mars today and the loss of the atmosphere in the past. Here goes a 2 minute video clip outlining the mission:

Skynews Australia

'The MAVEN science mission focuses on answering questions about what happened to the water and carbon dioxide present in the Mars system several billion years ago', said Bruce Jakosky, MAVEN principal investigator from Colorado University-Boulder's Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics.

These are important questions for understanding the history of Mars, its climate and its potential to support at least microbial life.

So based on the measurements they'll get from the various instruments, it seems like NASA could determine (more or less) when Mars lost it's thicker atmosphere and 'how' that change came about in the past (probably in combination with data from ground-level missions like MSL, Opportunity etc.).

I wonder, though, to what extent it'll be possible to say that certain cataclysms or critical events occured one, two or three billion years ago or whether such changes were much more recent (and/or gradual)? Would there be some leeway to interpret things differently? Conspiracies aside: is this mission going to tell us exactly when Mars became the barren wasteland we see today?

Looking forward to your thoughts on this ...

Sources & Links:
1. Skynews Australia
2. MAVEN Space Probe
3. Video Clip on Mashable
4. India's Mangalyaan Mission
edit on 21-9-2014 by jeep3r because: text

posted on Sep, 21 2014 @ 05:38 AM
S^F Well they are not Star Wars or Starfleet type probes but nevertheless I hope both missions go smoothly !

posted on Sep, 21 2014 @ 05:44 AM
a reply to: jeep3r

I wish more people would follow these missions like most follow a sports team (Give me an A....give me a V...), with corresponding full media wall-to-wall coverage. Thanks for this, and I look forward to the first results and analysis of the atmospheric readings.

Here's the Wikipedia page on the MAVEN mission, long may it fly...

edit on 21-9-2014 by Aleister because: (no reason given)

posted on Sep, 21 2014 @ 07:54 AM
a reply to: jeep3r

SnF! Thanks for this post. I am just about to post about the same thing until I saw yours. Well, maybe still, a little something.

posted on Sep, 21 2014 @ 08:12 AM

a reply to: Aleister
I wish more people would follow these missions like most follow a sports team (Give me an A....give me a V...)

Same here, but I think we would need to add some good looking cheerleaders and a couple of scientific super rock-stars for that to happen!

posted on Sep, 21 2014 @ 04:52 PM
a reply to: jeep3r

maybe it will send back some new pics ;-)

posted on Sep, 21 2014 @ 06:46 PM
a reply to: Aleister

I think because most of us expect only academic results from this. No alien rearing its head up into camara view or earth shattering things. I think this can only really satisfy true techy space exploration enthusiasts. Much of science, in fact, is very technical and long winded this way. It's not usual for aliens to show up or dramatic life changing scientific developments. And even if hte results ARE life changing, they're often cumbersome to begin to understand.

I expect something like this from these mars orbitors:
"Today we evacuated the pump valves and veered the aft thrusters to put her onto a perpendicular course with the atrenicular plane. This should put her at 37.813 degrees north/south of the equator in just under 72 hours, just the right place to carry on the next phase of OP BG8.1 and hopefully in a few weeks period give us the full results of the ontroscopic survey of the Tracin valley. We also today recieved the preliminary gas readouts of the upper 70 km semosphere. It confirms our previous iniitial readouts on day 280. One suprising result from this is the CO2 concentration at 74hz 798 NTA is 2% deviation. While at first this catches attention, upon closer inspection we found the orgonal rate flow of OXT was sufficient to exhaust the peralanar CO2 estrate, and so the 2% deviation is well within the axon-wave set.

Tommorow expect some news from our software team about the glitch we reported last week on Thursday regarding the back plate orthometer power down test. They've made amazing progress and we're tremendously proud of them. Our brothers and sisters at Stanford will really get a laugh from this one.

Kind regards, Allen Emerse, CO News HALEK Engineering News correspondant." (please excuse fictional name)
edit on 21-9-2014 by jonnywhite because: (no reason given)

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