Space

NASA Set To Make Huge Announcement On Thursday Regarding Mars' Atmosphere

November 3, 2015 | by Jonathan O'Callaghan

Mars atmosphere
Photo credit: Mars is thought to have lost most of its atmosphere long ago. NASA.

In September, NASA teased us with a “major announcement” regarding Mars, ultimately revealing evidence for the presence of liquid water on the surface of the Red Planet. Now, they're at it again.

On Thursday this week, NASA is going to reveal “key science findings” about the fate of the Martian atmosphere that remains, the majority of which has been lost over time. The data comes from the MAVEN (Mars Atmosphere and Volatile Evolution) spacecraft, which is currently in orbit around Mars. The agency isn't releasing any more information at the moment.

The event will take place at 2 p.m. EST (7 p.m. GMT) on Thursday at the James Webb Auditorium at NASA Headquarters in Washington, D.C. It will be broadcast live on NASA TV, which we’ve handily embedded below, so don’t forget to bookmark this page.

 

 

Taking part in the news conference are Michael Meyer, lead scientist for the Mars Exploration Program at NASA; Bruce Jakosky, MAVEN principal investigator, from the University of Colorado; Jasper Halekas, MAVEN Solar Wind Ion Analyzer instrument lead, from the University of Iowa; MAVEN science team member Yaxue Dong; and MAVEN co-investigator Dave Brain.

If you want to get involved during the event, you can tweet questions to be answered via #AskNASA. 

The MAVEN spacecraft was launched on November 18, 2013 and entered orbit around Mars on September 22, 2014. Its goal has been to study how the planet has lost the majority of its atmosphere over the last few billion years. This announcement heralds the first major findings from the spacecraft.

So, what has it discovered? You’ll have to wait and see.

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