MAVEN Launching
MAVEN Launching.
MAVEN mission controllers performed a successful trajectory correction maneuver, also known as a TCM. Post-maneuver data review shows that TCM-1 went according to plan. This maneuver removed the planetary protection bias. The planetary protection bias involves initially "aiming" to miss Mars, so that the launch vehicle upper stage (which is on a trajectory very similar to MAVEN's) doesn't accidentally hit the planet. The maneuver also enabled the team to check out the performance of the Mars Orbit Insertion thrusters and TCM thrusters. TCM-2 is scheduled for Feb. 26, 2014.

MAVEN is at a distance of 2.9 million miles from Earth. The current velocity is 74,025 mph as it moves around the sun. MAVEN has already traveled nearly 26 million miles on its journey to Mars.

MAVEN's principal investigator is based University of Colorado Boulder's Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics in Boulder, Colo. The university provided science instruments and leads science operations, as well as education and public outreach, for the mission. NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Md., manages the project and provided two of the science instruments for the mission. Lockheed Martin built the spacecraft and is responsible for mission operations. The University of California at Berkeley's Space Sciences Laboratory provided science instruments for the mission. NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif., provides navigation support, Deep Space Network support, and Electra telecommunications relay hardware and operations.

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