Maven won’t land on the red planet, nor will anyone, or anything be actively moving about the surface of the Martian planet. However, the latest spacecraft that has entered the orbit of Mars could be the one that finally gives us some answers on the climate – and how it evolved throughout the red planet’s history.
By remaining high in the planet’s atmosphere, it will give scientists a well-defined opportunity to examine what is, what has been, and what could be for the planet going forward.
The spacecraft’s first objective will be to study the upper-portions of Mars’ atmosphere, and try to begin understanding why the climate shift happened so swiftly and potentially understand where water was, and where it went.
However, water isn’t the only substance that scientists are trying to figure out how it went away. Carbon dioxide was at one time as present as water, but the planet ultimately lost that as well, when it turned into the cold, dry, and barren place it is today.
The United States though isn’t the only country to be heard from when it comes to studying Mars. India, too, will have a spacecraft orbiting the planet that is set to arrive just a few days from now. The goal is according to NASA, to work with India, in a joint effort to collect information and data that can be shared.
Both countries have a lot to gain from retrieving information about how the planet became what it is today.
The general belief amongst scientists is that the planet lost its gases to space at the uppermost-portions of the atmosphere. As this happened, the planet slowly destabilized, and was inevitably unlivable by even h20 molecules.
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This will be the third craft to enter the Mars space, by the United States – and this will be the fourth overall craft that is in the Mars space – including India’s spacecraft.
Coupled with the fact that the United States has once again began investing in its space program – there has been a lot of positive vibes around the NASA community. It’s a sign of positive improvement, and faith from the government that it’s a worthy investment.
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However, observing Mars traditionally won’t be the only learning experience for NASA. Mars is expected to see a close fly-by, of a comet that is said to be a once-in-a-million-year’s event. The Maven will get the opportunity to investigate not just the planet itself, but the comet, as well as the impacts the comet has on the planet with it passing just over 80,000 miles away.