Category: Series


MAVEN, short for Mars Atmosphere and Volatile Evolution, is a Martian climate change probe capable of making unprecedented observations of the planet’s atmosphere. Launched on November 18th 2013, the orbiter will be inserted into areocentric elliptic orbit of Mars on September 22nd 2014. As part of the Mars Scout Program, the $671 Million MAVEN spacecraft will study Mars’ upper atmosphere to explore how the planet may have lost its atmosphere and water over time. Nine instruments will make up the probe, which was built in collaboration with UC Berkley, University of Colorado Boulder, and Goddard Space Flight Center. MAVEN’s instruments will measure characteristics of Mars’ atmospheric gases, atmosphere, ionosphere, and their relationship with solar winds. MAVEN will perform measurements while in orbit over a period of one Earth year, with five low altitude passes to sample the upper atmosphere. Link



India’s first orbiter to Mars, Mangalyaan, is closing in on its final destination through a 300 day mission traveling at 28 km/s. Launched in November of 2013, the 1337 kg spacecraft is carrying five instruments that will study a range of things including early signs of life on the red planet and its atmosphere. This particular mission is a demonstration mission to test the technologies required for design, planning, and operation of future Space missions. The orbiter is equipped with a Photometer, Composition Analyzer, Color Camera, Methane Sensor, and a Thermal Infrared camera. All the information procured from these instruments will be down-linked to Earth through Antennas during regular communication sessions. Hopes are to explore Mars’ surface, morphology, and mineralogy as well as to exercise the capabilities of deep space communication, navigation, and management. If all goes well, the Mangalyaan Orbiter will arrive into Mars’ orbit on September 24th of this year, 2 days after NASA’s Maven Orbiter; which will be the next topic of this series. LinkMangalyaan Orbiter




WALL-EI am announcing a four part series on Next Generation Space Exploring Robots, which I will be posting on the next few days. Development by different nations to have bragging rights on the next great exploration orbiters are underway. I will go in depth on projects through each post to discover and learn the process it takes for ideas to get off the drawing board and into Space. This will be very exciting, as it will showcase the participation of many countries in the single goal of figuring out our universe. To do so, investments are being made on orbiting labs which act as mediators to science and research down here on Earth. Please join me over the next few posts as I write about new orbiting equipment and different launch systems that will diversify the space exploration sector.