Curiosity Welcomes MAVEN to Mars - November 11, 2013
This animation is a shorter clip from the video "Curiosity and Maven Explore Mars." While Curiosity will not be able to see MAVEN as it arrives at Mars, the rover welcomes the orbiter's discoveries. Curiosity is able to study the lower Martian atmosphere, while MAVEN will study the upper, both to help understand the history of the Martian climate and Mars as a past habitat. Curiosity may be able to view MAVEN when its orbit passes over Gale Crater at dusk, similar to viewing a low-earth-orbiting (LEO) satellite around Earth. As a precedent, Mars rover Spirit captured the Mars Odyssey orbiter as a bright point in the Martian sky. MAVEN is larger and flies lower, and Curiosity's cameras are better, so this animation imagines a similar sighting. The animation ends with a celebration of MAVEN, which will help in understanding Mars' climate history and uncovering when and how long Mars may have had an environment more favorable to microbial life than found today.