Transcripts of MAVEN Imaging Ultraviolet Spectrograph

[ drone ] [ music ] My name is Nick Schneider. I'm the science lead for the Imaging Ultraviolet Spectrograph on the MAVEN mission, and I'm a member of the Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics. My name is Ian Stewart. I'm a senior research scientist here at LASP. Right now I'm working with the IUVS team on the MAVEN mission to Mars. So the philosophy of NASA's Mars Program has been "Follow the water," but "Where did the atmosphere go?" is still a lingering question, and so MAVEN is designed to figure out whether or not that atmosphere could have escaped away to space. The MAVEN payload, all of the instruments on it are designed to examine the processes by which gases escape from Mars. When we look at the ultraviolet light we can tell what the atmosphere is composed of. We can also tell its temperature, measure variations in the composition and temperature as we look at different parts of the atmosphere, at different seasons on Mars, different times of day. The Imaging Ultraviolet Spectrograph is the most powerful ultraviolet spectrograph to be sent to another planet. It's got a very high spectral resolution that allows us to look very closely at an emission from hydrogen, and we look so closely that we can tell the difference between hydrogen and heavy hydrogen, called deuterium. And by measuring the ratio of heavy hydrogen to light hydrogen we can get a good guess of just how much water has escaped from the planet. Now this has been done before in the lower atmosphere but it's never been done in the upper atmosphere where the escape is actually occurring, so that's going to be a first for MAVEN. I've worked on many planetary missions all the way back to Mariner 6 and 7. At the beginning of my scientific career that's what I worked on, on Mars, and so here I'm almost at the end, and it's a real pleasure to go back to Mars and study it in more detail asking better questions. [ music ] [ sound effect ]