The Particles and Fields Package, built by the University of California at Berkeley with some instrument elements from LASP and NASA Goddard contains six instruments to characterize the solar wind and the ionosphere of Mars.
NASA selected the MAVEN mission for flight in 2008. Scientists think Mars was much more Earth-like roughly four billion years ago, and want to know how the climate changed, where the water went and what happened to the atmosphere, said Jakosky, also a professor in the geological sciences department.
CU-Boulder also is providing science operations and directing education and public outreach efforts. NASA Goddard provided two of the science instruments and manages the project. In addition to building the spacecraft, Lockheed Martin will perform mission operations. NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena provides program management via the Mars Program Office, as well as navigation support, the Deep Space Network and the Electra telecommunications relay hardware and operations.