The visitor center said they might know about launch viewing tickets in late October. My daughter and I are coming from California for the launch + Disney. I think the MAVEN PI said they have a week or so of slack in the schedule, but anything can happen to delay the launch including weather. I think they had to replace a battery in the MSL Atlas V and that delayed the launch a day from the original target.
at its conclusion, will boost the satellite into a higher elliptical orbit to relay data from other spacecraft currently on the surface of Mars.
Quote from: jacqmans on 10/25/2013 02:44 PMat its conclusion, will boost the satellite into a higher elliptical orbit to relay data from other spacecraft currently on the surface of Mars.Oh cool, didn't know that was the plan. I was a bit worried they were going to let it decay after the low passes, or (unlikely) deorbit it.
Accounting for planetary protection, by mitigating forward contamination risks - is something that ought to be done during the manufacture/build phase, as opposed to ops, surely?1 Yeah yeah, I know.. there's a higher COST (rover standard clean-rooms vs orbiter standard, material restrictions, design considerations etc.), but then there's increased "secondary" science return (impact studies), and science-lifetime of the primary mission too. It might even save you the need to launch frequently (conjunction class missions to ensure no observation gap..).