To planetary scientists, the Martian atmosphere presents an intriguing mystery: today it's a thin, cold wisp of carbon dioxide with just one percent the pressure of Earth's atmosphere, but long ago it was thick and warm enough to support lakes and rivers on the Martian surface. How did Mars lose so much of its early atmosphere? Scientists think that the solar wind may be responsible, and NASA's Mars Atmosphere and Volatile EvolutioN (MAVEN) spacecraft is designed to find out. The instruments of MAVEN's Particles & Fields package will study the interaction of the solar wind with Mars's upper atmosphere, helping scientists to better understand how Mars became the freeze-dried planet that we see today.
Studying the Solar Wind at Mars Robert Lin, the late director of the Space Sciences Laboratory, discusses how NASA's MAVEN spacecraft will study the interaction of the Martian atmosphere with the solar wind. MAVEN's findings will reveal how Mars lost its early atmosphere, turning it from a warm, wet planet into the cold, dry one that we see today.
Michael Lentz (USRA): Lead Animator Chris Meaney (HTSI): Animator Chris Smith (HTSI): Animator Dan Gallagher (USRA): Video Editor Robert Lin (University of California, Berkeley): Interviewee Dan Gallagher (USRA): Producer Robert Lin (University of California, Berkeley): Scientist David L. Mitchell (Space Sciences Laboratory, University of California at Berkeley): Scientist Aaron E Lepsch (ADNET Systems, Inc.): Project Support David Silberberg: Project Support Rob Andreoli (AIMM): Videographer Kevin Deane (Oakville Lane Productions, Inc.): Videographer
Please give credit for this item to: NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center
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