For picosatellites like Project Calliope, we can take a more homebrew view. Our lifetime is 3 months tops, and we're fire-and-forget. For a large mission such as MAVEN, representing a huge effort just to get the satellite all the way to Mars, errors such as falling apart in space are simply not an option.
Kudos to the MAVEN team for creating this catchy primer, and for clearly explaining why space is both hard and do-able. All it takes is smarts and willpower.
p.s. a tip of the hat to Heather Diehl for pointing me to this video!
Launching Project Calliope, sponsored by Science 2.0, in 2011
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