To Infinity and Beyond

To Infinity and Beyond

Angelica Omar, Reporter

NASA recently, as of Sunday night, had another successful spacecraft reach Mars. The name of this mission was Maven. Mars Atmosphere and Volatile Evolution Mission is an acronym for Maven.  It is the 10th U.S. mission sent in trying to reach Mars’ orbit.
Maven traveled 138 miles, from the NASA Space Station to orbit. The world waited 12 agonizing minutes to determine if the mission was successful.
 “I don’t have any fingernails anymore, but we’ve made it,” Colleen Hartman, deputy director for science at Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland stated. John Grunsfeld, NASA’s chief for science missions, told the press “This is such an incredible night!”
Previously, Maven was launched from Cape Canaveral, NASA’s site in Florida, this past November. It was on a journey that lasted nearly a year and traveled approximately 442 million miles to Mars.
Maven’s mission has cost 671 million dollars, so far. Scientists expect Siding Spring, an oort cloud comet, to fly by Mars next month. Many are excited about this because Maven will get to observe it up close and personal.
On top of getting to encounter a famous and rare comet, many hope Maven will help find out where the water and carbon dioxide on Mars has disappeared. Although no one knows for sure, most assume that the various gases were stripped away by the sun in Mars’ early existence.
Later on in Maven’s mission scientists say that its orbit will come as low as 78 miles above Martian surface, and hopefully will find out more about the red planet. Along with all of these successes in space robotics, scientists hope to send human explorers in 2030’s.