Just as hundreds of thousands of people protested political inaction on climate change on Earth, a satellite swung into orbit that should help explain why climate change happened — on Mars.
NASA’s MAVEN satellite, en route to Mars for the last 10 months, finally arrived in orbit around the Red Planet around 10:40pm ET Sunday night. This followed a tense 33-minute thruster burn as the satellite aimed to slow its speed down enough for Martian gravity to take over. The NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory was understandably thrilled.
Thus far MAVEN is alone, but it should have a friend on Tuesday — an Indian satellite called the Mars Orbiter Mission, which is on its way to study Martian methane (another clue to the climate mystery).
And of course, there are one or two Earth-born companions still roaming the Martian surface. Delightfully, they’re tweeting at each other.