NASA has prepared a new video to illustrate its Mars Atmosphere and Volatile Evolution (MAVEN) mission's investigation of dramatic climate change on Mars. Today, Mars is a cold and barren desert world, with no sign of life, at least on the surface.
When the Mars Atmosphere and Volatile Evolution Mission launches in November to study why the Red Planet is losing its atmosphere, one of its instruments will look to electrically charged particles called electrons for answers.
It's not easy to simulate millions of miles electronically, but that's what engineers did recently as they tested the all-important communications system the MAVEN spacecraft will use to relay its study results from Mars orbit to Earth-bound researchers.
NASA has given the green light to the development and 2013 launch of the Mars Atmosphere and Volatile Evolution (Maven) mission, which aims to investigate how Mars lost so much of its atmosphere.