NASA’s Mars Atmosphere and Volatile Evolution mission also known as “MAVEN” launched from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station’s Space Launch Complex 41 a few days ago, launching the United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket carrying a 5,400-pound spacecraft. The spacecraft was designed and built by Lockheed Martin and they are in charge of mission operations. The spacecraft is scheduled to arrive to Mars in September of 2014.
NASA describes the details of the MAVEN mission. The mission will…
explore the planet’s upper atmosphere, ionosphere and interactions with the sun and solar wind. Scientists will use MAVEN data to determine the role that loss of volatile compounds—such as carbon dioxide, nitrogen dioxide, and water—from the Mars atmosphere to space has played through time, giving insight into the history of Mars atmosphere and climate, liquid water, and planetary habitability. The MAVEN Principal Investigator is Dr. Bruce Jakosky of the University of Colorado’s Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics (CU/LASP), and the project is managed by NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center.”
- NASA to launch robotic explorer to Mars (foxnews.com)
- NASA counts down to Maven orbiter’s launch to Mars (nbcnews.com)