A while back we discussed about how some astronomers discovered a new supermassive black hole and today it’s time for some more exciting news from outer space. The NASA Maven Explorer, a craft whose purpose is to collect information about Mars’ atmosphere, has finally arrived at its destination, a year after it was launched.
In November of 2013, NASA Maven Explorer was launched from Cape Canaveral. The craft is the size of a school bus and it weighs around the same pounds as an SUV does. It took the NASA Maven Explorer one year to complete the 442 million-mile journey from Earth to Mars and fortunately, it slipped into the Red Planet’s orbit without any incidents.
The mission cost a whopping $671 million and it is dedicated to studying Mars’ upper atmosphere. It is the first mission of this kind and the first successful one after three failed attempts. The craft isn’t meant to land on the surface on the planet and the lowest it is going to go is 78 miles.
Mars’ orbit is starting to get crowded, as there are already two more American crafts circling the planet and one European craft. Mangalyaan, India’s first interplanetary probe will arrive in Mars’ orbit in two days.
The NASA Maven Explorer is searching for clues about Mars and its peculiar atmosphere. It may very well be the first craft to find evidence of life on Mars, after the Mars Atmosphere and Volatile Evolution (Maven) finishes collecting data.
Deputy Director for science at Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland, Colleen Hartman, said: I don’t have any fingernails any more, but we’ve made it. It’s incredible.
The official announcement revealed the news we were all hoping for:
Based on observed navigation data, congratulations, Maven is now in Mars orbit.
What are your thoughts on this news? Do you think Maven will find something interesting in Mars’ orbit? Share your thoughts with us in the comment section below.