Artist's Concept of NASA's MAVEN Spacecraft Approaching Mars
NASA's MAVEN spacecraft is quickly approaching Mars on a mission to study its upper atmosphere.

Since Mars Orbit Insertion (MOI) on September 21st, things have gone extremely well with the MAVEN spacecraft and the instruments that have been activated thus far.

There have been a total of four separate engine burns since MOI that have brought MAVEN's orbital period down to approximately 4.6 hours and a periapsis (closest distance from the Mars surface) of 175 km (~109 mi). Several of the instruments have been activated and we are now seeing data sets from the instruments that we believe will provide great science results on Mars' upper atmosphere.

Additionally, the two Langmuir Probe & Waves antennas were successfully deployed on October 9th. The remaining instrument deployments will occur over the next several days.

To watch an animation of the LPW deployment, visit:

David F. Mitchell, MAVEN Project Manager at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center

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