The Mars Atmosphere and Volatile EvolutioN (MAVEN) mission is the first mission devoted to understanding the Martian upper atmosphere.

active Mission
This image shows an artist concept of NASA Mars Atmosphere and Volatile Evolution MAVEN mission.

The Mars Atmosphere and Volatile EvolutioN (MAVEN) mission will determine how much of the Martian atmosphere has been lost over time by measuring the current rate of escape to space and gathering enough information about the relevant processes to allow extrapolation backward in time.




Nov. 18, 2013




Understanding the Martian upper atmosphere
Four men in cleanroom suits work on the MAVEN spacecraft, which has its solar arrays fully spread.
MAVEN with deployed solar arrays.
Lockheed Martin
Key Facts
Nov. 18, 2013
Launch Location
Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Florida
Launch Vehicle
Atlas V01
Mars Orbit Insertion
Sept. 21, 2014
37.5 feet (11.4 meters)
90 inches (2.29 meters)
11.4 feet (3.47 meters)
Dry (unfueled) mass at launch: 1,784 pounds (809 kilograms)
Wet (fueled with hydrazine) mass at launch: 5,410 pounds (2,454 kilograms)
Science payload: 143 pounds (65 kilograms) in eight instruments
More than 2,000 solar cells on four panels cover 129 square feet (12m2) and generate between 1,150 and 1,700 watts (depending on spacecraft’s position in Mars orbit); solar panels power two 55-amp-hour lithium ion batteries.
High-gain Antenna
6.56 feet (2 meters) in diameter
14 pounds (6.5 kilograms). Electra UHF communications package to provide data relay from rovers and landers on Mars back to Earth.
Mission Duration


The goal of MAVEN is to determine the role that loss of atmospheric gas to space played in changing the Martian climate through time. Where did the atmosphere—and the water—go?

A series of four full disc images of Mars show clouds moving across the globe.
Ultraviolet Mars Reveals Cloud Formation: The ultraviolet colors of the planet have been rendered in false color, to show what we would see with ultraviolet-sensitive eyes. This images uses four MAVEN images to show about seven hours of Mars rotation during this period, and interleaves simulated views that would be seen between the four images.
NASA/MAVEN/University of Colorado
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