MAVEN: Aerobraking to lower the orbit

maven_vertical_limbThe MAVEN spacecraft today [March 7] performed an aerobraking maneuver (with a 0.2 m/s ∆V) to decrease the periapsis, or lowest, altitude by 1.2 km. MAVEN’s periapsis altitude is now 125.5 km above the surface of Mars and the apoapsis, or highest, altitude is 5,400 km. The density of the Martian atmosphere at periapsis is 3.4 kg/km³.

With today’s maneuver, the MAVEN aerobraking campaign continues to follow a schedule that will meet the goal of reaching an apoapsis altitude of 4,500 km by the end of April. [More at link]

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