Spacecraft NASA Maven entered orbit around Mars for an unprecedented study of the atmosphere of the Red Planet, worked his way to the 710 million kilometers, which began about a year ago. The robotic explorer successfully slipped into orbit of the Red Planet on Monday afternoon.

“I think my heart is ready to start all over again – told principal investigator Maven, Bruce Yakoski the University of Colorado. – All I can say at this point is: we are on Mars, guys. ”

Mission cost of 671 million dollars the real work begins – for the first time to explore the upper layers of the Martian atmosphere and to determine the latest nuances before sending NASA astronauts to Mars in the 2030s.

Managers in Colorado spend the next six weeks, adjusting the height of the Maven and checking its scientific instruments, in parallel with this watching comets, which will take place at a relatively close distance. Then, in early November, Maven will begin to probe the upper atmosphere of Mars. The spacecraft will carry out their observations from orbit without landing.


Scientists believe that the Martian atmosphere contains clues about how Earth’s neighbor has gone from warm and wet billions of years ago to the cold and dry. Young wet world could feed the life of microbes, but this tantalizing question remains to be answered.

NASA launched Maven in November last year from Cape Canaveral is 10 US mission to orbit the Red Planet. The previous three have failed, and until Monday did not hear the word success, the team biting elbows in anticipation.

Spacecraft clocked up to 16 000 kilometers per hour before starting the so-called orbital braking, a half-hour process. The world had to wait as long as 12 minutes to learn the outcome, because it is such a delay in the communication between the two planets.

Maven joined three devices that are already circling around Mars: two American and one European. But these devices will not be the last – the first interplanetary probe India, Mangalyaan, is about to reach Mars, and also to go into orbit. Yakoski expressed the hope that all goes well. He also hopes to learn what happened to all the water on Mars, and where did all the carbon dioxide, which once was quite dense atmosphere, which could be damp clouds.


These gases are likely to have been washed away by the sun in early adolescence Mars, escape into the upper atmosphere and space. Observations Maven will have to send us back in time.

Maven – short of Mars Atmosphere and Volatile Evolution Mission (Mission to the Martian atmosphere and the evolution of volatility) – will hold at least a year, collecting data. This is a full year in the world, but half – on Mars. The orbit of the machine lies at an altitude of about 150 kilometers above the Martian surface, and on the board has eight instruments. At length the device – like a bus, but the weight – as an SUV.

Next month Maven will close encounter with the comet. The core of the newly discovered comet Siding Spring will take place in the 132 000 million kilometers from Mars on 19 October. The risk that the comet dust hurt Maven, is relatively low, and the device will be able to watch the Siding Spring as a research bonus.


This is a 21 shot on Mars by NASA and the first since the landing of the rover “Kyuriositi” on the Red Planet in 2012. Just this month, “Kyuriositi” came to its main scientific objectives , the mountain called Sharp, to pursue its drilling. Mars rover “Opportunity” also continues to work for the tenth year after planting.

New probes will arrive at Mars in the 2016-2018 years of NASA, the European and Russian space agencies. Next Mars rover will be launched in the United States in 2020, it will be more capable than the “Kyuriositi”, and collect samples for possible return to Earth, and produce oxygen from atmospheric carbon dioxide.


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