A while back we talked about the July Supermoon and today it’s time we share with you some very exciting news about the NASA Maven Explorer and how it arrived at its destination.
It took the NASA Maven Explorer one year to complete the 442 million-mile trip to Mars from Earth and on Sunday night, it finally fired its breaks and entered Mars’ orbit. The NASA Maven Explorer isn’t supposed to land on the Red Planet, but it is supposed to do its exploring from the orbit.
Bruce Jakosky, Maven’s chief investigator, confirmed the news:
I think my heart’s about ready to start again. All I can say at this point is, ‘We’re in orbit at Mars, guys!’
The NASA Maven Explorer is the first mission dedicated solely to study the Red Planet’s upper atmosphere. The total amount of money that was put in this mission is an impressive $671 million.
Maven is short for Mars Atmosphere and Volatile Evolution Mission; the craft is as long as a school bus and it will spend around one Earth year (half a Mars year) to study and collect data about the planet. The lowest it will descend will be 78 miles above the surface.
Scientists have always been interested in Mars because they believe the planet could cold clues about Earth’s own evolution. It’s also fascinating how the Red Planet went from being warm and wet to cold and dry. The NASA Maven Explorer could very well be the mission that will finally find evidence of life on Mars.
The Maven was launched from Cape Canaveral last November and it is the 10th U.S. mission for the Red Planet.
What are your thoughts on this news? Are you exciting about the NASA Maven Explorer on Mars? Do you think it will find some evidence of life while on Mars? Share your thoughts in the section below.