After traveling 442 million miles in more than 10 months, NASA’s MAVEN spacecraft began orbiting Mars on Sunday. MAVEN’s mission is to study how the Red Planet’s climate changed over time from warm and wet to cold and dry—an undertaking that resonates right now, as hundreds of thousands joined the People’s Climate March in New York City to focus on climate change right here on Earth. The unmanned MAVEN (Mars Atmosphere and Volatile Evolution) will take a first-of-its-kind look at the planet’s upper atmosphere. NASA hopes that data it collects will help scientists understand what happened to the water on Mars and the carbon dioxide in its atmosphere billions of years ago.
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