What You Need To Know About NASA’s MAVEN Mission


I’ve gotten a lot of questions about NASA’s latest mission to Mars, so I thought I’d take a crack at explaining the mission. Here’s the gist:

What’s MAVEN?

The Mars Atmosphere and Volatile EvolutioN (MAVEN) is a 37-foot, solar-powered spacecraft. Its mission is to orbit Mars to study the planet’s climate history. MAVEN will be the first spacecraft mission dedicated to exploring the upper atmosphere of Mars.

When is it happening?ksc_111813_maven_launch_grab17_720

The spacecraft launched Nov. 18 (Check out some photos of the MAVEN launch), but the journey to Mars will take about 10 months. Officially, MAVEN is set to reach its destination Sept. 2014. At that point, MAVEN will spend one year orbiting the planet.

Why are they going to Mars again?

You may remember NASA’s Curiosity Rover landing on Mars in Sept. 2012, but MAVEN is an altogether different mission that’s studying completely new data. While in orbit the MAVEN will take measurements that will, for the first time, allow scientists to study the current state of the Mars’ upper atmosphere and ionosphere. The results may help experts understand how the the once vibrant, water-filled and possibly life-sustaining planet was transformed into the cold and barren desert it is today. This info is also vital in providing intelligence for future NASA missions to Mars and the Solar System beyond.

Need more?

Check out NASA’s MAVEN mission page.

And here’s an artist’s rendering of MAVEN’s orbit around Mars:




  1. hmmm interesting i think my friend who is crazy about trying to go to mars and colonize it and become king of mars would like this. and yes i have a friend like that

  2. GO AWAY, Jammer860558 from A.J. and is more popuuulard-Jammer860558 from A.J. and is more popacuar-WHATEVER. I DON’T WANT TO SEE YOU AGAIN, Jammer Guy! G__ CURSE ANIMAL JAM!!! 😕 😕 😕 😕 😕 😕 😕

    • well what do ya know another friendly word from a fan only this time more sincere except i do not understand y you are so cross with national geographic o and @I HATE ANIMALS i think you need to take chill pill….. no seriously i think you do……

      P.S, you probally dont even really play aj that much soooooo shut up

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.