Shortly After Mars Comet, NASA’s New Red Planet Spacecraft Officially Starts Mission
MAVEN’s Ultraviolet Imaging Spectrograph (IUVS) uses limb scans to map the chemical makeup and vertical structure across Mars’ upper atmosphere. It detected strong enhancements of magnesium and iron from ablating incandescing dust from Comet Siding Spring. Credit: NASA
NASA’s newest Mars spacecraft is “go” for at least a year — and potentially longer. After taking a time-out from commissioning to observe Comet Siding Spring whizz by the Red Planet in October, the Mars Atmosphere and Volatile Evolution (MAVEN) officially began its science mission Monday (Nov. 17). And so far things are going well.
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