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Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics

MAVEN spacecraft successfully launches to Mars

November 18, 2013

The United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket with NASA’s Mars Atmosphere and Volatile Evolution (MAVEN) spacecraft launches from the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station Space Launch Complex 41, Monday, Nov. 18, 2013, Cape Canaveral, Florida.

The United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket with NASA’s Mars Atmosphere and Volatile Evolution (MAVEN) spacecraft launches from the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station Space Launch Complex 41, Monday, Nov. 18, 2013, Cape Canaveral, Florida. (Click image to view GIF animation.)


At 1:28 p.m. EST, the MAVEN spacecraft began its 10-month journey to Mars orbit, launching aboard a United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida.

The Atlas V and the spacecraft have performed flawlessly in the early hours after launch. MAVEN’s “gull wing” solar arrays have deployed, sending power to the instruments onboard, and mission ground support personnel have confirmed the receipt of telemetry, indicating that communications with the spacecraft are proceeding as expected.

MAVEN will take critical measurements of the Martian upper atmosphere to help scientists understand climate change over the Red Planet’s history.

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