Planets and Moons  ID: 4181

MAVEN: Insertion Orbit

The Mars Atmosphere and Volatile Evolution mission (MAVEN) spacecraft was launched on a 10 month journey to Mars on November 18, 2013. MAVEN is expected to arrive in Mars orbit on Sept 21, 2014 EDT. MAVEN's mission is to investigate the upper atmosphere of Mars and its interactions with the Sun and solar wind. This will help scientists understand why Mars lost many volatile molecules form its atmosphere such as CO2, N2, and H2O.

This visualization shows MAVEN's approach and orbit insertion around Mars. MAVEN's initial orbit is highly elliptical. The tail behind MAVEN changes to red to indicate the period during which thrusters are fired for orbit insertion. A separate visualization shows the transition from the insertion orbit to the more circular science orbit.


Visualization Credits

Greg Shirah (NASA/GSFC): Lead Animator
Ernie Wright (USRA): Animator
Dan Gallagher (USRA): Producer
David Folta (NASA/GSFC): Scientist
Bruce Jakosky (LASP): Scientist
Laurence Schuler (ADNET): Project Support
Ian Jones (ADNET): Project Support
Please give credit for this item to:
NASA's Scientific Visualization Studio

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MAVEN: Mars Atmosphere and Volatile EvolutioN

Data Used:
also referred to as: GSFC Flight Dynamics Facility Ephemeris
Ephemeris - GSFC/FDF
JPL DE421 also referred to as: DE421
Ephemeris - NASA/JPL
Note: While we identify the data sets used in these visualizations, we do not store any further details nor the data sets themselves on our site.

This item is part of this series:

SVS >> Mars
SVS >> Orbit
SVS >> Solar System >> Orbits
SVS >> Solar System >> Planets >> Moons
SVS >> Solar System >> Moons
NASA Science >> Planets and Moons