How did ancient Mars evolve from a warm, wet environment into the frozen desert that we see today? NASA intends to answer this question with MAVEN, a Mars orbiter managed by the Goddard Space Flight Center.
The Martian climate remains one of the solar system's biggest mysteries: although cold and dry today, myriad surface features on Mars carved by flowing water attest to a much warmer, wetter past. What caused this dramatic transition? Scientists think that climate change on Mars may be due to solar wind erosion of the early atmosphere, and NASA's MAVEN mission will test this hypothesis. Project Manager David F. Mitchell discusses MAVEN and the Goddard Space Flight Center's role in sending it to the Red Planet.