NASA On Air: NASA's MAVEN Measures Martian Atmosphere Using Starlight (9/3/2015)

  • Released Thursday, September 3, 2015

LEAD: September 21st, 2015, marks the one-year anniversary of NASA's MAVEN spacecraft circling Mars.

  1. MAVEN's goal is to determine how Mars lost its thick early atmosphere, and with it, its once hospitable climate.

  2. The spacecraft's Imaging Ultraviolet Spectrograph measures how the light from background stars dims as the starlight passes through different layers of the Martian atmosphere. This tells scientists about the atmosphere’s chemical makeup and its structure.

  3. The vertical distributions of oxygen, hydrogen, and carbon dioxide are important clues to Mars’ climate history.

TAG: MAVEN is the first spacecraft specifically designed to study the upper atmosphere of Mars.

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Please give credit for this item to:
NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center

Release date

This page was originally published on Thursday, September 3, 2015.
This page was last updated on Monday, July 15, 2024 at 12:11 AM EDT.


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