MAVEN approached the orbit of Mars
In 2 days, 16 hours and 25 minutes, there will be more human presence near Mars. The MAVEN satellite approached the orbit .
In 10 months, the satellite covered 711 million kilometers. Interestingly, the first Indian interplanetary spacecraft Mangalyaan, which also successfully traveled all the way and will arrive in orbit two days after MAVEN, follows in its wake.
The task of the American apparatus is to study the current state and evolution of the atmosphere. It should help to figure out how Mars has transformed from a warm world with lots of water into a cold, lifeless planet.
MAVEN was launched on November 18, 2013 as part of a mission with a budget of $ 671 million.
The cube-shaped apparatus is equipped with solar panels and weighs about 2450 kg. It has 8 instruments installed, including a solar wind ion analyzer, a solar wind electron analyzer, a Langmuir wave sensor, a pair of induction magnetometers, a remote sensing kit, an ultraviolet spectrometer, a neutral and an ion mass spectrometer.
MAVEN is another NASA device designed to search for traces of water. The probe will also measure the rate of atmospheric loss. But there is an unforeseen bonus - soon comet Siding Spring, discovered only last year, will pass 132 thousand km from Mars. Scientists were afraid that the tail of the comet might cover MAVEN, but now they believe that the risk of this is minimal. The comet’s core will pass by Mars on October 19, and the probe can examine the upper atmosphere before and after the comet’s passage, which is also interesting information.
Scientists believe that comets travel so close near Mars about once every million years, so it can be called great luck that just at this moment our probe is here to study.
Currently, three terrestrial satellites revolve around Mars: one European and two American. Two rovers examine the surface. All these are necessary preparatory measures before the landing of a person and the creation of the first earthly colony on other planets.