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September 29, 2011

MAVEN Primary Structure Completed, Launching in October 2013

The primary structure of MAVEN (Mar's Atmosphere and Volatile EvolutioN) has been completed at Lockheed Martin near Denver, Colorado. This is the first mission that is devoted to studying the upper atmosphere of Mars. Its purposes include determining the role that loss of atmospheric gas to space played in the change of Martian climate over time as well as determining the amount of atmosphere lost overtime. The structure is built out of composite panels comprised of aluminum honeycomb with graphite composite face sheets attached by metal fittings on both sides, and weighs only about 275 pounds. Although there is still a long way to go, this is a big step and a great beginning. NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, CU-LASP, Lockheed Martin, UC-Berkley, NASA Jet Propulsion Lab, Deep Space Network, and Electra Telecommunications will all be contributing in terms of building instruments, provide science operations, lead education/public outreach, perform mission operations, provide navigation support, and
relay hardware and operations. As of now, MAVEN is scheduled to launch in November of 2013

To read more, full article at: http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/maven/news/maven-structure.html

Posted by charwei at September 29, 2011 03:56 PM

Comments

Wow that's amazing. I would love to know more about the upper atmosphere of Mars.

Posted by: halljo at September 29, 2011 04:39 PM

The fact that it is only 275 is very interesting. I am glad we are looking in to Mars so seriously. I saw a show on the discovery channel that discussed the possibly of making Mars habitable to humans. Of course they said it would take very large sums of money and multiple generations to complete, but it was still cool.

Posted by: halljo at September 29, 2011 09:29 PM

It will be really interesting to see how the atmosphere of Mars compares to Earth. I'm not sold that Mars is truly habitable planet just yet, as I really see no possible way of getting masses of people there in the first place.

Posted by: duymo at September 30, 2011 11:00 AM

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