Space Science Reviews

, Volume 195, Issue 1–4, pp 357–422 | Cite as

Characterizing Atmospheric Escape from Mars Today and Through Time, with MAVEN

  • R. J. LillisEmail author
  • D. A. Brain
  • S. W. Bougher
  • F. Leblanc
  • J. G. Luhmann
  • B. M. Jakosky
  • R. Modolo
  • J. Fox
  • J. Deighan
  • X. Fang
  • Y. C. Wang
  • Y. Lee
  • C. Dong
  • Y. Ma
  • T. Cravens
  • L. Andersson
  • S. M. Curry
  • N. Schneider
  • M. Combi
  • I. Stewart
  • J. Clarke
  • J. Grebowsky
  • D. L. Mitchell
  • R. Yelle
  • A. F. Nagy
  • D. Baker
  • R. P. Lin


Two of the primary goals of the MAVEN mission are to determine how the rate of escape of Martian atmospheric gas to space at the current epoch depends upon solar influences and planetary parameters and to estimate the total mass of atmosphere lost to space over the history of the planet. Along with MAVEN’s suite of nine science instruments, a collection of complementary models of the neutral and plasma environments of Mars’ upper atmosphere and near-space environment are an indispensable part of the MAVEN toolkit, for three primary reasons. First, escaping neutrals will not be directly measured by MAVEN and so neutral escape rates must be derived, via models, from in situ measurements of plasma temperatures and neutral and plasma densities and by remote measurements of the extended exosphere. Second, although escaping ions will be directly measured, all MAVEN measurements are limited in spatial coverage, so global models are needed for intelligent interpolation over spherical surfaces to calculate global escape rates. Third, MAVEN measurements will lead to multidimensional parameterizations of global escape rates for a range of solar and planetary parameters, but further global models informed by MAVEN data will be required to extend these parameterizations to the more extreme conditions that likely prevailed in the early solar system, which is essential for determining total integrated atmospheric loss. We describe these modeling tools and the strategies for using them in concert with MAVEN measurements to greater constrain the history of atmospheric loss on Mars.


Mars Atmosphere Escape Maven Models 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • R. J. Lillis
    • 1
    Email author
  • D. A. Brain
    • 2
  • S. W. Bougher
    • 3
  • F. Leblanc
    • 4
  • J. G. Luhmann
    • 1
  • B. M. Jakosky
    • 2
  • R. Modolo
    • 4
  • J. Fox
    • 5
  • J. Deighan
    • 2
  • X. Fang
    • 2
  • Y. C. Wang
    • 1
  • Y. Lee
    • 3
  • C. Dong
    • 2
  • Y. Ma
    • 6
  • T. Cravens
    • 7
  • L. Andersson
    • 2
  • S. M. Curry
    • 1
  • N. Schneider
    • 2
  • M. Combi
    • 3
  • I. Stewart
    • 2
  • J. Clarke
    • 8
  • J. Grebowsky
    • 9
  • D. L. Mitchell
    • 1
  • R. Yelle
    • 10
  • A. F. Nagy
    • 3
  • D. Baker
    • 2
  • R. P. Lin
    • 1
  1. 1.Space Sciences LaboratoryUniversity of California BerkeleyBerkeleyUSA
  2. 2.Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space PhysicsUniversity of ColoradoBoulderUSA
  3. 3.Department of Atmospheric, Oceanic and Space SciencesUniversity of MichiganAnn ArborUSA
  4. 4.Laboratoire de Météorologie DynamiqueParisFrance
  5. 5.Department of PhysicsWright State UniversityDaytonUSA
  6. 6.Institute of Geophysics and Planetary PhysicsUniversity of California Los AngelesLos AngelesUSA
  7. 7.Department of Physics and AstronomyUniversity of KansasLawrenceUSA
  8. 8.Astronomy DepartmentBoston UniversityBostonUSA
  9. 9.NASA Goddard Space Flight Ctr.GreenbeltUSA
  10. 10.Lunar and Planetary LaboratoryUniversity of ArizonaTucsonUSA

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