NASA’s MAVEN Spacecraft Changes Course To Avoid Collision With Mars Moon Phobos

Posted: Mar 3 2017, 3:27am CST | by , in News | Latest Science News

 

NASA’s MAVEN Spacecraft Changes Course to Avoid Collision with Mars Moon Phobos
This artist's sketch shows MAVEN above Mars. Credits: Lockheed Martin
 

NASA Mars satellite changed its position to avoid collision with its moon

The MAVEN spacecraft is around Mars for 2 years observing Martian atmosphere, and ionosphere. The spacecraft is also observing the interactions of Mars with solar wind and sun.

The spacecraft had rocket burn on Tuesday that increased its velocity upto 0.4 meters per second. Corrections were made as otherwise the spacecraft would have a collision with its moon.

To stay away from Phobos, MAVEN avoided the collision for the first time. Keeping a certain time difference will prevent collision. MAVEN is having an elliptical orbit across Mars, crossing other spacecraft and Phobos several times in a year.

Due to cross orbiting, the objects can strike if they are at the intersection at a time. NASA considers this issue, and its Jet Propulsion library in Pasadena, California, monitors the spacecraft and its location

The collision was suspected before time, otherwise MAVEN and Phobos had a chance to collide on Monday, March 6, reaching their orbit intersection within 7 seconds difference.

Size of Phobos is 30 km sphere that’s larger than the real moon, so chances of collision were more. MAVEN spacecraft and its team saved the spacecraft from collision due to consistent monitoring provided by NASA, said MAVEN Principal Investigator Bruce Jakosky of the University of Colorado in Boulder.

The principal investigator of MAVEN is from the University of Colorado’s Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics, Boulder.  

Two instruments, science operations, education and public sources were provided by the university for the mission.MAVEN project is managed by NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland, and it also provided science instruments for the mission.

Another institute that helped the mission through science instruments includes University of California at Berkeley’s Space Sciences Laboratory. Deep space network help, Electra telecommunications hardware, and navigation are provided by NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California.

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