NASA's MAVEN Mission

NASA's MAVEN mission (Mars Atmosphere and Volatile EvolutioN) aims to investigate the Martian upper atmosphere, providing crucial insights into how solar wind and radiation have influenced Mars' climate over time.

Launched in November 2013, MAVEN has been pivotal in uncovering the mechanisms behind the loss of Mars' atmospheric gases into space, which has significantly contributed to the planet's transition from a once-warmer, wetter environment to its current cold, arid state.

Through its suite of scientific instruments, MAVEN has identified that solar wind stripping is a major process driving the atmospheric escape, particularly during periods of intense solar activity, thereby helping scientists understand the broader implications for planetary atmospheres.

The mission has also provided key data on the variability of the Martian ionosphere and its interaction with the solar wind, enhancing our understanding of space weather's impact on Mars and its potential effects on future human exploration.

MAVEN's findings have not only deepened our knowledge of Mars' atmospheric evolution but also serve as a comparative model for studying other planetary atmospheres, both within our solar system and in exoplanetary systems.