“Previous spacecraft have made measurements and we’ve learned a lot about the upper-atmosphere, but we haven’t been able to put the whole end-to-end picture together,” said principal investigator Bruce Jakosky. It will also observe the methane – a potential indicator of biological activity on the planet. Now the satellite is in a high, elliptical, 35-hour orbit around the planet. A complicated technical manoeuvre was necessary on Monday for its positioning. The first weeks will be used to test the instrument packages on board.. It is supposed that the solar wind influenced and eroded trough time the atmosphere of the planet. Billions of years ago it was probably potentially habitable to life. At this time NASA’s Curiosity rover is already active yet on the Mars’ land surface.
Another part of Maven’s mission will be to study the influence , in October, of Comet Siding Spring, which makes a close pass of Mars. NASA’s Maven Mars mission (the Mars Atmosphere and Volatile EvolutioN spacecraft)was launched on an Atlas V rocket from Florida’s Cape Canaveral Air Force Station on November 18, 2013.