research probe “Maven” is on its way to Mars. The approximately eleven meters long and included more than 2500 kilograms of fuel probe is launched on Monday afternoon (local time) aboard an unmanned Atlas rocket from Cape Canaveral.
In bright sunshine the start had gone smoothly, said the U.S. space agency Nasa. Approximately one hour after the probe is separated from the rocket.
“maven” should revolve around Mars and study its atmosphere. From the data of the 500 million-euro mission, the NASA researchers hope to find out about how it came to be that develop or maintain no life on Mars could.
“After ten years of development work on mission concept and components, it is incredibly exciting, ‘Maven’ to see on the way to Mars,” said chief designer Bruce Jakosky.
In the next four weeks, “Maven” test eight scientific instruments. After a total flight time of ten months, the probe will arrive in September in the Martian atmosphere and begin a one-year exploration mission. “Maven” is short for “Mars Atmosphere and Volatile Evolution,” to Detusch: “Origin of the atmosphere and the volatile components of Mars”
On Mars explorer robots are already rolling “Curiosity” and its predecessor “Opportunity”, also several orbiter circling around the planet. “‘Maven’ follows on from the orbiter and the rover that are already on Mars to explore yet another facet of the Red Planet and to prepare human missions to Mars by around 2030,” said NASA chief Charles Bolden. “This mission is part of an integrated, strategic research program that reveals the mysteries of the solar system, and makes it possible for us to reach more distant destinations.”
track of the news
Help Get hold of free news services:
- everything from the category Science
- Twitter | RSS
- everything from the category Space
- everything about Mars
div © SPIEGEL ONLINE 2013
All rights reserved Reproduction only with permission of SPIEGELnet GmbH