Three views of an escaping atmosphere, obtained by MAVEN's Imaging Ultraviolet Spectrograph, are shown here. By observing all of the products of water and carbon dioxide breakdown, MAVEN's remote sensing team can characterize the processes that drive atmospheric loss on Mars. These processes may have transformed the planet from an early Earthlike climate to the cold and dry climate of today.
MAVEN is NASA's Mars Atmosphere and Volatile Evolution (MAVEN) spacecraft. NASA Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md., manages the MAVEN project for NASA's Science Mission Directorate, Washington, and built some of the science instruments for the mission. MAVEN's principal investigator is based at the University of Colorado's Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics in Boulder. The university provided science instruments and leads science operations, as well as education and public outreach, for the mission. Lockheed Martin Space Systems, Denver, built and operates the spacecraft. The University of California at Berkeley's Space Sciences Laboratory provided instruments for the mission. JPL, a division of the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, provides navigation support and Deep Space Network support, NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, provides navigation and Deep Space Network support, as well as the Electra telecommunications relay hardware and operations.
For more information about NASA's Mars Exploration Program, see http://marsprogram.jpl.nasa.gov.