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MAVEN commissioning & Siding Spring encounter
elakdawalla
post Sep 22 2014, 02:27 PM
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Congratulations to the whole MAVEN team for a successful orbit insertion yesterday. Here's a look at what we can expect for the next 7 weeks of the mission:

First week after MAVEN Mars Orbit Insertion (Sep 21-28)
  • Sep 22: MAVEN Transition to Transition Phase Configuration; possible IUVS observation
  • Sep 22: At 09:12 UTC, Mars Orbiter Mission test-fires its main engine
  • Sep 24: Periapsis Lowering Maneuver 1 -- a rocket burn at apoapsis will reduce the spacecraft's orbital energy and drop its periapsis closer to the planet
  • Sep 24: At 02:00 UTC, Mars Orbiter Mission arrives
  • Sep 26: MAVEN Period Reduction Maneuver 1 -- a rocket burn at periapsis will shrink the size of the orbit, lowering the apoapsis

Second week after MAVEN arrival (Sep 29-Oct 4)
  • Oct 2: Period Reduction Maneuver 2

Third week after MAVEN arrival (Oct 5-11)
  • Oct 5: Periapsis Lowering Maneuver 2
  • Oct 6: Particles and Fields package checkout; Periapse Time Estimation data collection
  • Oct 7: Neutral Gas and Ion Mass Spectrometer (NGIMS) pre-deploy checkout 1
  • Oct 9: Period Reduction Maneuver 3
  • Oct 10: Langmuir Probe and Wves (LPW) deployment
  • Oct 11: Articulated Payload Platform and Solar Wind Electron Analyzer (SWEA) deployment

Fourth week after MAVEN arrival (Oct 12-18)
  • Oct 13: Payload Platform calibration / Remote sensing instrument checkout
  • Oct 14: NGIMS checkout 2 / cover deploy
  • Oct 16: Comet Siding Spring science begins

Fifth week after MAVEN arrival (Oct 19-25)
  • Oct 19: At 18:32 UTC, Siding Spring passes by Mars
  • Oct 22: Post Siding Spring spacecraft checkouts
  • Oct 23: Periapsis Lowering Maneuver 3
  • Oct 24: Extreme Ultraviolet (EUV) scans

Sixth week after MAVEN arrival (Oct 26-Nov 1)
  • Oct 24: LPW sync and modes
  • Oct 28: Solar Energetic Particle (SEP) and Magnetometer (MAG) scans
  • Oct 29: Electra Bit Error Rate, Sniff, Switch exercise (Electra is not a science instrument; it is the communications relay for landed Mars missions like Curiosity and Opportunity.)
  • Oct 30: Periapsis Lowering Maneuver 4
  • Oct 31: Payload Platform calibration / Remote sensing instrument checkout repeat

Seventh week after MAVEN arrival (Nov 2-8)
  • Nov 3: LPW ping test
  • Nov 4: MAG roll
  • Nov 5: NGIMS checkout 3
  • Nov 6: Engineering dry run; Electra communications pass with Curiosity
  • Nov 7: Orbit trim maneuver 0
  • Nov 8: Science start


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walfy
post Sep 23 2014, 03:26 AM
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Any chance that MAVEN, or any of the other current orbiters, will capture an image of MOM's orbit insertion burn? If only a little streak of light comes through, at best with Mars in the background, that would be cool.
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James Sorenson
post Sep 23 2014, 03:54 AM
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MAVEN carries no camera's. HiRISE on MRO would be the best shot and I doubt this is planned.
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Y Bar Ranch
post Sep 23 2014, 11:38 AM
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QUOTE (James Sorenson @ Sep 22 2014, 11:54 PM) *
MAVEN carries no camera's.

Hmmm, I guess this story isn't true then.
http://www.theonion.com/articles/mars-mave...s-of-hig,36987/
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Mr Valiant
post Sep 23 2014, 12:10 PM
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QUOTE (Y Bar Ranch @ Sep 23 2014, 11:38 AM) *
Hmmm, I guess this story isn't true then.
http://www.theonion.com/articles/mars-mave...s-of-hig,36987/



Yeah, it's not true.
Check out...
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/MAVEN#Scientific_instruments

Gives a good description of science instruments, and none of them are visible light .

MAVEN's mission is purely to determine the Mar's atmospheric and exosphere content and it's interaction
with the Solar Wind and Ultra Violet radiation.

Certainly no desktop pics here.
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Gerald
post Sep 23 2014, 12:42 PM
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Maybe they've been thinking at IUVS, which may result in 3D-maps of the Martian atmosphere, or apoapsis multispectral uv images of 155 km per pixel.
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djellison
post Sep 23 2014, 01:33 PM
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The Onion is a parody website......they don't actually care if it's taking pictures or not.
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MahFL
post Sep 23 2014, 02:20 PM
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QUOTE (djellison @ Sep 23 2014, 02:33 PM) *
The Onion is a parody website......they don't actually care if it's taking pictures or not.


Some people need to get out more, if they think The Onion is an actual news site.
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MarsInMyLifetime
post Sep 23 2014, 03:16 PM
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QUOTE (MahFL @ Sep 23 2014, 08:20 AM) *
Some people need to get out more, if they think The Onion is an actual news site.

Y Bar Ranch's response was ironic parody itself (and brilliant at that).

Whether intentional or not, the Onion parody actually makes a point that the public tends to value planetary research for its more banal byproducts (heck, I use these desktop shots all the time). But Maven's sense of smell and electromagnetic fields is the real story here. Maven brings to the Mars research team some of the out-of-band situational insights that Geordi La Forge and Deanna Troi brought to the STNG team. Maven's as-it-were ESP (new sensors in the regime) will afford some unique insights into the physics of this near encounter with Comet Siding-Spring. What an incredible circumstance for Maven to be in place just in time, and I fervently hope MOM can contribute as well.

I understand that MOM will be using a number of small thrusters along with its main engine meaning that it may have low intrinsic brightness anyway.


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Mr Valiant
post Sep 23 2014, 03:58 PM
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QUOTE (MarsInMyLifetime @ Sep 23 2014, 04:16 PM) *
Y Bar Ranch's response was ironic parody itself (and brilliant at that).

Whether intentional or not, the Onion parody actually makes a point that the public tends to value planetary research for its more banal byproducts (heck, I use these desktop shots all the time). But Maven's sense of smell and electromagnetic fields is the real story here. Maven brings to the Mars research team some of the out-of-band situational insights that Geordi La Forge and Deanna Troi brought to the STNG team. Maven's as-it-were ESP (new sensors in the regime) will afford some unique insights into the physics of this near encounter with Comet Siding-Spring. What an incredible circumstance for Maven to be in place just in time, and I fervently hope MOM can contribute as well.

I understand that MOM will be using a number of small thrusters along with its main engine meaning that it may have low intrinsic brightness anyway.


I thought the Onions coverage of the launch of the Straw Shuttle was the best piece of journalism ever written...
http://www.theonion.com/articles/nasa-baff...w-shuttle,1997/

Mods, I promise this is my 1 and only excursion, but gees its good for a laugh.

Cheers.
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charborob
post Sep 23 2014, 05:43 PM
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QUOTE (MarsInMyLifetime @ Sep 23 2014, 11:16 AM) *
I understand that MOM will be using a number of small thrusters along with its main engine meaning that it may have low intrinsic brightness anyway.


Do these burns actually produce a visible "flame". We are used to seeing huge rocket plumes during launches, but already the exhaust from a second stage engine is all but invisible (for example the Falcon 9 second stage, as we can see from the in-board cameras). The engine for MOI is certainly much less powerful than that, so I guess you wouldn't see anything from hundreds of km away.
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djellison
post Sep 23 2014, 06:51 PM
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Not much - but probably something. Here's thruster firings from an ATV on approach to ISS.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-XqG7zt5kK0#t=143

Almost certainly not visible from any other asset at Mars. The spacecraft itself might be, however, much as MODY and MEX were images by MOC-2 on MGS.
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kwan3217
post Sep 24 2014, 06:12 PM
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Just released:

QUOTE
The MAVEN spacecraft has obtained its first observations of the extended upper atmosphere surrounding Mars. LASP's Imaging Ultraviolet Spectrograph (IUVS) instrument obtained these false-color images eight hours after the successful completion of Mars orbit insertion. The image shows the planet from an altitude of 36,500 km in three ultraviolet wavelength bands. Blue shows the ultraviolet light at 121.6nm from the sun scattered from atomic hydrogen gas in an extended cloud that goes to thousands of kilometers above the planet’s surface. Green shows a 130.4nm ultraviolet light that is primarily sunlight scattered by atomic oxygen, showing the smaller oxygen cloud. Red shows ultraviolet sunlight at 180-340nm reflected from the planet’s surface; the bright spot in the lower right is light reflected either from polar ice or clouds. This is the first UV image to simultaneously record emissions from multiple gases in Mars’ atmosphere.

The oxygen gas is held close to the planet by Mars’ gravity, while lighter hydrogen gas is present to higher altitudes and extends past the edges of the image. These gases derive from the breakdown of water and carbon dioxide in Mars’ atmosphere. Over the course of its one-Earth-year primary science mission, MAVEN observations like these will be used to determine the loss rate of hydrogen and oxygen from the Martian atmosphere. These observations will allow us to determine the amount of water that has escaped from the planet over time.

The Imaging Ultraviolet Spectrograph was built by the Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics at the University of Colorado at Boulder, with Bill McClintock as Instrument Scientist, Mark Lankton and Rory Barrett as project managers. Justin Deighan, Mike Chaffin, Chris Jeppesen, and Dale Theiling designed the unique observations and performed the all-nighter imaging processing in the hours after Mars Orbit Insertion. The LASP Ops staff (Michelle Kelley, Jerel Moffet and Colin Stewart) made immediate access to the data possible. MANY THANKS to all involved!

Nick Schneider and the MAVEN/IUVS Team

(Image credit: LASP/University of Colorado and NASA)


Since this is an imaging spectrograph, there is a full spectrum from about 100nm to 340nm for every pixel in this image. It is reduced to three colors for the benefit of those of us who don't have spectrometers for eyes. I'd say it is pretty good for a spacecraft that doesn't have a camera...
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