Magnetometers built by scientists and engineers at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md. for NASA's Mars Atmosphere And Volatile EvolutioN (MAVEN) mission have been delivered to the University of California at Berkeley Space Sciences Laboratory for integration into the Particles and Field Package.
"The team worked hard and completed delivery of the magnetometers on schedule," said Jack Connerney, Magnetometer Instrument Lead from NASA Goddard. "We are looking forward to launch, orbit insertion and seeing the data come back."
The pair of flux gate magnetometers measures the magnetic field at the location of the spacecraft. As part of the Particles and Fields Package, the magnetometer sensors are positioned at the outermost ends of the solar panels to keep them as far away as possible from stray magnetic fields generated by the spacecraft. Since the motion of escaping charged particles is governed by the magnetic field, this measurement is important in understanding how the solar wind interacts with the planet’s atmosphere and causes loss to space.