Monday, November 18, 2013

NASA MAVEN Launch: Robotic Mars Probe on its way

NASA's MAVEN spacecraft launched Nov. 18, 2013, from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, beginning its 10-month journey to the Red Planet.

Credit: NASA TV

NASA launched its newest Mars probe toward the Red Planet Monday (Nov. 18) on a mission to determine how the Martian atmosphere transformed the world into the desolate wasteland it is today.

The robotic spacecraft, called the Mars Atmosphere and Volatile Evolution probe (MAVEN), launched atop an Atlas 5 rocket from the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station here at 1:28 p.m. EST (1828 GMT), beginning a 10-month journey to Mars.

"Liftoff of the Atlas 5 with MAVEN, looking for clues about the evolution of Mars through its atmosphere," NASA launch commentator George Diller said as the rocket climbed into a cloudy Florida sky.

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