back to article NASA's MAVEN enters Mars orbit to sniff its gas

NASA's MAVEN spacecraft has reached Mars after a 10-month journey – and started its mission to study the Red Planet's upper atmosphere. The Mars Atmosphere and Volatile Evolution (MAVEN) dropped into orbit around Earth’s favourite neighbour around 3.24am BST after months of journeying through space. To do it, the craft had to …

  1. Winkypop Silver badge

    Fantastic stuff

    But... "after months of journeying through the stars"?

    Now that would be news.

    1. Mike Bell

      Re: Fantastic stuff

      Well, technically, we're all "journeying through the stars". Albeit a little slowly for some.

      1. Alan Brown Silver badge

        Re: Fantastic stuff

        s/through/amongst/ and I'd be a lot happier (and somewhat less crispy).

  2. Anonymous Coward

    figure out how Mars went from being warm and wet to the current cold and barren dried-out

    Sounds like they named the wrong planet after a woman!

    I think we've all experienced this situation where they go from being all wet, warm and wild to becoming an ice queen. There's no mystery here.

    1. MyffyW Silver badge
      Paris Hilton

      Re: figure out how Mars went from being warm and wet to the current cold and barren dried-out

      @Martijn - personally speaking I think fiery temperatures and clouds of high pressure sulphuric acid better match my mood, hun.

    2. Martin Budden

      Re: figure out how Mars went from being warm and wet to the current cold and barren dried-out

      Putting a "Joke Alert!" icon on it doesn't stop it being outright misogyny.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: figure out how Mars went from being warm and wet to the current cold and barren dried-out

        I see you're using the radfem definition of misogyny there.

  3. Doctor_Wibble

    Collision alert!

    Sod's law dictates that somehow MAVEN and Mangalyaan will end up too close to each other which will either result in the destruction of both or create a resonance cascade scenario (also resulting in the destruction of both). This might be averted if they signal properly and use the roundabout as directed.

    Everyone will blame everyone else and miss the best fact of all, that it would be the first truly extraterrestrial international space incident.

    1. frank ly

      Re: Collision alert!

      Furthermore, Murphy's Law will ensure that the debris hits Curiosity.

    2. Ugotta B. Kiddingme


      they collide in orbit, reassemble themselves into one (mostly) working and insanely powerful probe tasked with returning home to "sterilize that which is imperfect."

      Let's all make certain Bill Shatner remains healthy, just in case...

      1. g e

        The Shat

        He'll be flattered that you thought of him but he's not the one the call...

        Ugly link follows...

  4. Rikkeh

    Fingers crossed...

    I'm probably speaking too soon, but it looks like the Americans have cracked the whole "getting a probe to Mars" thing- everything they've sent there has made it for the past 15 years. Quite a winning streak.

    The overall Mars probe success rate of just 51% and the Russians' recent failure with Fobos Grunt show just how hard that is to do. Have a virtual beer, NASA.

  5. James 51

    Any chance this mission could last a lot longer than planned like the rovers?

  6. Andy The Hat Silver badge

    Hello Canberra ... <ssssssssh> ... come in Canberra ... <shhhhhhhh>

    Just for once, perhaps on an April 1st insertion date, let's have the report that they were unable to make radio contact for some time but did receive a somewhat recognisable Jeff Wayne-esque audio stream ...

  7. Martin Maloney

    If all goes well...

    ...MAVEN will finally provide the definitive answer to that age-old question:

    "Do Martians fart?"

  8. mtp


    Sniff - I smell "Illudium Q-36 Explosive Space Modulator"

  9. Anonymous Coward

    So MAVEN DIDN'T crash into the Indian probe?

    International incident avoided!! (But keep that collision coverage paid up, NASA!)

    Icon indicates adherence to Martian traffic laws.

  10. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

    What age group...

    ...was the narrator addressing? That didn't sound like the general release type stuff normally linked/embedded here. It sounded like it was aimed at 10-12 year old kids.

    Still and all, good stuff. Rockets and interplanetary probes are always exciting!

    (Unlike a documentary I saw the the week where the script writer/narrator was confused and kept saying intergalactic when he meant interstellar.)

  11. Andy The Hat Silver badge

    Sniff - I smell "Illudium Q-36 Explosive Space Modulator"

    Wasn't it an "Illudium pu-38 Intergallactic Space Modulator"? Or are you deliberately trying to make the Martians appear less technically advanced thereby less of a threat when we find them? Do you know something we don't? Do you wear dark glasses and a black suit?

  12. The First Dave

    So MAVEN spent months getting there, and _now_ has to spend six weeks warming up for action?

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