Systems Engineering Seminar

Overview of the MAVEN mission, its development challenges, and current project status as we fly around the Red Planet (and dodge comets)

Presented by:
Martin Houghton - Mission Systems Engineering Branch, Code 599

Tuesday, October 7, 2014, 1:00 pm
Building 3 Auditorium


The Mars Atmosphere and Volatile Evolution (MAVEN) mission was selected by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration in 2008 for development as the second Mars Scout mission. The mission launched on schedule and under budget on November 18th, 2013, from Kennedy Space Center, Florida. MAVEN will study the Mars upper atmosphere, its interactions with the solar wind, and the effects they play on the loss of atmospheric volatiles to space. This talk will provide an overview of MAVEN science, the mission, its development challenges, and current project status as we fly to Mars.



Biography Mr. Houghton started working at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in 1991, as a coop student out of Purdue University specializing in spacecraft Guidance, Navigation, and Control (GN&C) systems. He spent several years working Explorer Program missions such as the Extreme Ultraviolet Explorer (EUVE) and the Rossi X-ray Timing Explorer (RXTE). He later served as the Deputy Mission Systems Engineer (MSE) for the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) and is now NASA’s Lead MSE for the Mars Atmosphere and Volatile EvolutioN (MAVEN) mission. His duties encompass overall mission architectures, requirements definition, design trades, integration, test, launch, and operations activities.


1995 – B.S., Aeronautical/Astronautical Engineering (Dynamics and Control), Purdue University

1999 – M.S., Engineering Management (Systems Engineering), U of MD University College



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