MAVEN has arrived at Mars!

MAVEN successfully completed orbital insertion about 45 minutes ago!  It joins five other active spacecraft at Mars, three in orbit and two on the surface, for a staggering total of six active spacecraft.  It’s a record that will not hold for long; Mangalyaan will arrive in a couple more days.

MAVEN’s initial orbit has a period of about 35 hours.  The next major burn (and the final one for the main engine) will bring the orbital period down to 5 hours.  The maneuvering engines will then be used to step it down a little further, finishing in an orbit that will, at periapsis, graze the atmosphere of Mars to allow the probe’s instruments to sample it.

mavenorbitinsertionfactsheet-1

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4 Comments

Filed under Space

4 responses to “MAVEN has arrived at Mars!

  1. Tim

    Hehehe; Hey, Bevis — She said “orbital insertion”

    Occular Penetration Restriction Act (2007)

    • Your Freudian slip is showing, Tim. 😉

      With the arrival of MAVEN, we are now tied for the most active spacecraft at Mars at once: six. (Counting the rovers as spacecraft, naturally.) If Mangalyaan makes it tomorrow, a new record will be set. This is an exciting time.

      • Tim

        Well, yes. I’ve not been so exited since Shoemaker-Levi slammed into jupiter 3-a-day for the next seven days… Jupiter did shine brighter than the sun (in microwave bands, anyways) for seven days back in 1994…{that is an obscure Nostradamus quipe for the uninitiated *grins*}. At least for the solar observatories that turned away from the sun to witness it….

        I noticed that your sidebar has a link to SpaceWeather but not one for those who like to follow in livetime — solarham.net

        peaceful armaggeddon,
        tim

      • I am not familiar with solarham, Tim; that’s pretty cool! I will have to check it out. Thanks!

        SL9 was incredible. My dad’s got an 8.5″ SCT, and he pointed it at Jupiter — we all looked through and saw the dark spots left by the comet. That wasn’t the first time I got excited about space, but it was the first time I think I properly appreciated how dynamic it is.

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