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Watch The MAVEN Launch

Now Playing: NASA TV Coverage of MAVEN Launch
Recorded Live on: November 18, Monday: 11 a.m. ET (8 a.m. PT)

read the article 'NASA's Mars Spacecraft Maneuvers to Prepare for Close Comet Flyby'
NASA is taking steps to protect its Mars orbiters, while preserving opportunities to gather valuable scientific data, as Comet C/2013 A1 Siding Spring heads toward a close flyby of Mars on Oct. 19.
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Feature 2/28/2014 Relay Radio on Mars-Bound NASA Craft Passes Checkout ››
 
Status Report 2/27/2014 MAVEN Status Update: Feb. 27, 2014 ››
 
Press Release 2/4/2014 MAVEN on Track to Carry Out its Science Mission ››
Latest Videos
read the article 'NASA's Mars Spacecraft Maneuvers to Prepare for Close Comet Flyby'
NASA is taking steps to protect its Mars orbiters, while preserving opportunities to gather valuable scientific data, as Comet C/2013 A1 Siding Spring heads toward a close flyby of Mars on Oct. 19.
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read the article 'Relay Radio on Mars-Bound NASA Craft Passes Checkout'
With completion of a checkout of the relay radio on NASA's Mars-bound MAVEN spacecraft, all of the onboard payloads have now successfully passed initial in-flight checkouts.
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read the article 'MAVEN Status Update: Feb. 27, 2014'
Status Report 2/27/2014
 
MAVEN Status Update: Feb. 27, 2014
On Feb. 26, mission controllers performed a successful second trajectory correction maneuver, also known as TCM-2.
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read the article 'MAVEN on Track to Carry Out its Science Mission'
The MAVEN spacecraft and all of its science instruments have completed their initial checkout, and all of them are working as expected.
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read the article 'MAVEN Status Update: Dec. 5, 2013'
Status Report 12/5/2013
 
MAVEN Status Update: Dec. 5, 2013
All MAVEN instrument sub-systems have been tested and are performing as expected.
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read the article 'Goddard Planetary Instruments Score a Hat Trick'
Planetary instruments from NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md., hit the trifecta on Dec. 4, running three experiments of the same kind at different places in space.
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read the article 'MAVEN: Status Update: Dec. 4, 2013'
Status Report 12/4/2013
 
MAVEN: Status Update: Dec. 4, 2013
The Neutral Gas and Ion Mass (NGIMS) initial activation occurred at approximately 10:18 a.m. EST this morning.
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read the article 'MAVEN: Status Update: Dec. 3, 2013'
Status Report 12/3/2013
 
MAVEN: Status Update: Dec. 3, 2013
MAVEN mission controllers performed a successful trajectory correction maneuver, also known as a TCM. Post-maneuver data review shows that TCM-1 went according to plan.
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read the article 'Mission Managers Hail Successful MAVEN Launch'
NASA's Mars Atmosphere and Volatile Evolution (MAVEN) mission began with a smooth countdown and flawless launch from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station's Space Launch Complex 41.
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read the article 'NASA Launches Mission to Study Upper Atmosphere of Mars'
A NASA mission that will investigate how Mars lost its atmosphere and abundant liquid water launched into space at 1:28 p.m. EST Monday from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida.
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read the article 'MAVEN Launch Updates'
Status Report 11/18/2013
 
MAVEN Launch Updates
View MAVEN launch updates here!
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read the article 'Centaur Begins Second Burn'
Status Report 11/18/2013
 
Centaur Begins Second Burn
The Centaur upper stage has restarted its RL-10A-4-2 engine, ending the coast phase and ensuring NASA's MAVEN spacecraft is placed on its path to Mars.
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read the article 'MAVEN, Centaur Enter Coast Phase'
Status Report 11/18/2013
 
MAVEN, Centaur Enter Coast Phase
Flight of NASA's MAVEN spacecraft continues to go well following an on-time launch at 1:28 p.m. EST aboard a United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket.
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read the article 'MAVEN Lifts Off to Mars'
Status Report 11/18/2013
 
MAVEN Lifts Off to Mars
Liftoff! NASA's MAVEN mission to Mars is beginning with a spectacular launch aboard a United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket.
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read the article 'Atlas V Rocket Fully Fueled Ahead of MAVEN Launch'
At T-25 minutes, the United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station's Space Launch Complex 41 is fully fueled and ready to launch NASA's Mars Atmosphere and Volatile Evolution (MAVEN) spacecraft. Liftoff is planned for the openi
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read the article 'Atlas Liquid Oxygen Loading Under Way'
Status Report 11/18/2013
 
Atlas Liquid Oxygen Loading Under Way
The countdown to liftoff of NASA's MAVEN spacecraft aboard a United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket continues to progress smoothly.
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read the article 'MAVEN Launch Countdown Resumes'
Status Report 11/18/2013
 
MAVEN Launch Countdown Resumes
Prelaunch activities are well under way at Space Launch Complex 41 on Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, where NASA's MAVEN spacecraft and its ride into space, the United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket, are being readied for liftoff at 1:28 p.m. EST.
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read the article 'Countdown Enters 30-Minute Built-in Hold'
Countdown clocks across Cape Canaveral Air Force Station have paused as planned for a 30-minute hold at the T-2 hour mark.
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read the article 'LeVar Burton Shares MAVEN’s Story in a New NASA PSA'
Actor LeVar Burton shares the excitement of the mission in a new NASA public service announcement (PSA).
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read the article 'Mission Manager a Modern Mr. Fix-it'
Chuck Tatro has always been an engineer at heart. Now he's about to see nearly seven years' worth of engineering effort take off for Mars.
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read the article 'MAVEN Powered On Ahead of Launch'
Status Report 11/14/2013
 
MAVEN Powered On Ahead of Launch
Controllers turned on the MAVEN spacecraft today as the spacecraft and the Atlas V rocket that will send it to Mars continue on track for launch Monday at 1:28 p.m. EST from Space Launch Complex 41 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida.
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read the article 'NASA Administrator to View Orion Spacecraft and MAVEN Launch Preparations'
NASA Administrator Charles Bolden will view the latest progress on NASA's Orion spacecraft and launch preparations for the next Mars mission at the agency's Kennedy Space Center in Florida on Sunday, Nov. 17.
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read the article 'MAVEN Seeks to Solve Another Mars Riddle'
NASA's next Mars explorer soon will leave Earth on a mission to answer one of the Red Planet's greatest conundrums: If our arid celestial neighbor once had a thicker atmosphere and a surface flowing with water, as evidence suggests, how did the climate ch
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read the article 'Review Verifies MAVEN, Atlas V and Eastern Range Ready for Launch'
The Flight Readiness Review was successfully held today at Kennedy Space Center for the launch of the United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket and NASA's MAVEN spacecraft bound for Mars.
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read the article 'MAVEN and Atlas V Pass Integrated Systems Test'
Yesterday the MAVEN spacecraft, operating in unison with its United Launch Alliance Atlas V launch vehicle, passed a critical electrical test called the Integrated Systems Test.
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read the article 'NASA Video Illustrates MAVEN Mission's Investigation of a Lost Mars'
NASA has prepared a new video to illustrate its Mars Atmosphere and Volatile Evolution (MAVEN) mission's investigation of dramatic climate change on Mars.
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read the article 'What Happened to Mars? A Planetary Mystery'
Billions of years ago when the planets of our solar system were still young, Mars was a very different world.
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read the article 'MAVEN Solar Wind Electron Analyzer Seeks Answers at Microscopic Levels'
When the Mars Atmosphere and Volatile Evolution Mission launches in November to study why the Red Planet is losing its atmosphere, one of its instruments will look to electrically charged particles called electrons for answers.
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read the article 'MAVEN Briefings and Events'
Press Release 11/8/2013
 
MAVEN Briefings and Events
NASA's next Mars-bound spacecraft, the Mars Atmosphere and Volatile EvolutionN, or MAVEN, is set to launch aboard a United Launch Alliance Atlas V 401 rocket Nov. 18.
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read the article 'MAVEN's Rollout to Launch Complex Rescheduled; Launch Date Unchanged'
During testing at Launch Complex 41 on Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida, a leak was discovered in a ground system gaseous purge line required for the MAVEN spacecraft.
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read the article 'What MAVEN Would See on Mars on Halloween'
The sun has emitted many coronal mass ejections in the week leading up to Oct. 31, 2013, which merged together over time to pass Mars.
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read the article 'NASA Prepares to Launch First Mission to Explore Martian Upper Atmosphere'
A NASA spacecraft that will examine the upper atmosphere of Mars in unprecedented detail is undergoing final preparations for a scheduled 1:28 p.m. EST Monday, Nov. 18 launch from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida.
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read the article 'NASA Hosts NASA TV News Briefing on Upcoming Mars Mission'
NASA will host a news briefing at 2 p.m. EDT Monday, Oct. 28, to discuss the upcoming launch of the agency's next mission to Mars and the first devoted to understanding the upper atmosphere of the Red Planet.
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read the article 'Communications Tests Go the Distance for MAVEN'
It's not easy to simulate millions of miles electronically, but that's what engineers did recently as they tested the all-important communications system the MAVEN spacecraft will use to relay its study results from Mars orbit to Earth-bound researchers.
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read the article 'NASA Hosts Social Media Event at MAVEN Launch in Florida'
NASA will give 150 of its social media followers an insider's look at America's space program and the opportunity to see a launch in person.
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read the article 'MAVEN Paces Through Prelaunch Prep'
Press Release 9/6/2013
 
MAVEN Paces Through Prelaunch Prep
The Mars Atmosphere and Volatile Evolution spacecraft, better known as MAVEN, is slated for launch Nov. 18 aboard a United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket.
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read the article 'MAVEN Eyes Mars as Launch Preps Begin'
MAVEN's approach to Mars studies will be quite different from that taken by recent probes dispatched to the Red Planet.
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read the article 'Haiku Selected To Be Carried On Next NASA Mars Mission'
NASA's Mars Atmosphere and Volatile EvolutioN, or MAVEN, mission scheduled to launch in November, will carry over 1,100 personal three-line poems, or haiku.
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read the article 'NASA Begins Launch Preparations for Next Mars Mission'
NASA's next spacecraft going to Mars arrived Friday, Aug. 2, at the agency's Kennedy Space Center in Florida, and is now perched in a cleanroom to begin final preparations for its November launch.
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read the article 'MAVEN Spectrometer Opens Window to Red Planet's Past'
When NASA's MAVEN mission begins its journey to the Red Planet later this year, it will be equipped with a special instrument to take the planet back in time.
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read the article 'NASA Invites Public To Send Names And Messages To Mars'
NASA is inviting members of the public to submit their names and a personal message online for a DVD to be carried aboard a spacecraft that will study the Martian upper atmosphere.
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read the article 'Final MAVEN Instrument Integrated to Spacecraft'
An instrument that will measure the composition of Mars' upper atmosphere has been integrated into NASA's Mars Atmosphere and Volatile EvolutioN (MAVEN) spacecraft. MAVEN has a scheduled launch date of Nov. 18.
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read the article 'Collision Course? A Comet Heads for Mars'
A comet is heading for Mars, and there is a chance that it might hit the Red Planet in October 2014. An impact wouldn't necessarily mean the end of NASA's Mars program, but it would transform the program along with Mars itself.
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read the article 'Measuring Mars: The MAVEN Magnetometer'
When the Mars Atmosphere and Volatile Evolution (MAVEN) mission begins its journey to the Red Planet in 2013, it will carry a sensitive magnetic-field instrument built and tested by a team at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md.
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read the article 'Particles And Fields Package Integrated On Upcoming Mars Bound Spacecraft'
The six science instruments that comprise the Particles and Fields Package that will characterize the solar wind and ionosphere of Mars have been integrated aboard NASA's Mars Atmosphere and Volatile EvolutioN (MAVEN) spacecraft.
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read the article 'NASA'S MAVEN Mission Completes Assembly, Begins Environmental Testing'
NASA's Mars Atmosphere and Volatile EvolutioN (MAVEN) spacecraft is assembled and is undergoing environmental testing at Lockheed Martin Space Systems facilities, near Denver, Colo.
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read the article 'NASA Announces Robust Multi-Year Mars Program; New Rover To Close Out Decade Of New Missions'
Building on the success of Curiosity's Red Planet landing, NASA has announced plans for a robust multi-year Mars program, including a new robotic science rover set to launch in 2020.
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read the article 'Instrument Delivered for NASA's Upcoming Mars Mission'
A remote sensing instrument that will peer into the ultraviolet to offer clues to how Mars might have lost its atmosphere has arrived at Lockheed Martin for integration into NASA's Mars Atmosphere and Volatile EvolutioN (MAVEN) spacecraft.
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read the article 'NASA Rover Finds Clues to Changes in Mars' Atmosphere'
NASA's car-sized rover, Curiosity, has taken significant steps toward understanding how Mars may have lost much of its original atmosphere.
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read the article 'Next Mars Mission Enters Final Phase Before Launch'
NASA's Mars Atmosphere And Volatile EvolutioN (MAVEN) mission has passed a critical milestone, Key Decision Point-D or KDP-D.
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read the article 'NASA Goddard Delivers Magnetometers for NASA's Next Mission to Mars'
agnetometers built by scientists and engineers at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md. for NASA's Mars Atmosphere And Volatile EvolutioN (MAVEN) mission have been delivered to the University of California at Berkeley Space Sciences Laborator
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read the article 'New NASA Missions to Investigate How Mars Turned Hostile'
Maybe because it appears as a speck of blood in the sky, the planet Mars was named after the Roman god of war. From the point of view of life as we know it, that's appropriate. The Martian surface is incredibly hostile for life.
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read the article 'NASA Study of Clays Suggests Watery Mars Underground'
A new NASA study suggests if life ever existed on Mars, the longest lasting habitats were most likely below the Red Planet's surface.
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read the article 'MAVEN Mission Primary Structure Complete'
NASA's Mars Atmosphere and Volatile EvolutioN (MAVEN) mission has reached a new milestone.
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read the article 'MAVEN Mission Completes Major Milestone'
The Mars Atmosphere and Volatile EvolutioN (MAVEN) mission reached a major milestone last week when it successfully completed its Mission Critical Design Review (CDR).
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read the article 'NASA Awards Launch Services Contract for Maven Mission'
NASA has selected United Launch Services, LLC of Littleton, Colo., to launch the Mars Atmosphere and Volatile Evolution spacecraft known as MAVEN. MAVEN will launch in November 2013 aboard an Atlas V 401 rocket from Complex 41 at Cape Canaveral Air Force
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read the article 'NASA gives LASP-led Mars mission green light'
The effort, known as the Mars Atmosphere and Volatile Evolution, or MAVEN, mission, will explore the past climate of Mars, including its potential for harboring life over the ages.
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read the article 'Thumbs Up Given For 2013 NASA Mars Orbiter'
NASA's mission to investigate the mystery of how Mars lost much of its atmosphere has won approval for development, and will move toward a 2013 launch.
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read the article 'Selects 'MAVEN' Mission to Study Mars Atmosphere'
NASA has selected a Mars robotic mission that will provide information about the Red Planet's atmosphere, climate history and potential habitability in greater detail than ever before. Called the Mars Atmosphere and Volatile EvolutioN (MAVEN) spacecraft,
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read the article 'NASA Delays Mars Scout Mission To 2013'
Press Release 12/21/2007
 
NASA Delays Mars Scout Mission To 2013
NASA announced today that the next mission in the Mars Scout program, originally planned for launch in 2011, is now targeted for launch in 2013. The schedule slip is because of an organizational conflict of interest that was discovered in one of the missi
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read the article 'NASA Selects Proposals for Future Mars Missions and Studies'
On Monday, NASA selected for concept study development two proposals for future robotic missions to Mars. These missions would increase understanding of Mars' atmosphere, climate and potential habitability in greater detail than ever before.
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MAVEN Image Gallery
MAVEN Teaser
Curiosity and MAVEN Explore Mars
Curiosity Welcomes MAVEN to Mars
Sputtering
MAVEN
Latest MAVEN Videos
read the article 'What Happened to Mars? A Planetary Mystery'
 
Mars was once on track to become a thriving Earth-like planet, yet today it is an apparently lifeless wasteland. A NASA spacecraft named MAVEN will soon journey to Mars to find out what went wrong on the Red Planet.
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read the article 'NASA Administrator Congratulates MAVEN Launch Team'
 
Following liftoff of the Mars Atmosphere and Volatile Evolution, or MAVEN, spacecraft from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, NASA Administrator Charles Bolden congratulated the agency and contractor launch team.

Credit: NASA/KSC
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read the article 'NASA's MAVEN Mars Mission Pre-Launch Hangout'
 
NASA Goddard hosted a live Google+ Hangout on Wednesday, Nov. 13 at 4 p.m. EST about MAVEN, NASA's next mission to Mars.

Credit: NASA/GSFC

MAVEN will examine the upper atmosphere of Mars in unprecedented detail. It's scheduled to launch no earlier than 1:28 p.m. EST Monday, Nov. 18, from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida. MAVEN stands for the Mars Atmosphere and Volatile Evolution mission, and it will examine specific processes on Mars that led to the loss of much of its atmosphere. Data and analysis could tell planetary scientists the history of climate change on the Red Planet and provide further information on the history of planetary habitability.

Panelists for this media briefing are:
-- Jim Morrissey, Instrument System Manager, NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Md. -- Mehdi Benna, Instrument Scientist for the Neutral Gas and Ion Mass Spectrometer, NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Md. -- David Brain, MAVEN Co-Investigator, Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics, University of Colorado, Boulder -- Jasper Halekas, Instrument Lead for the Solar Wind Ion Analyzer, University of California, Berkeley
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read the article 'NASA Manager Discusses MAVEN Launch'
 
Following liftoff from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station's Space Launch Complex 41, the Mars Atmosphere and Volatile Evolution, or MAVEN, spacecraft is on its way to the Red Planet. NASA officials discuss the launch and the mission.

Credit: NASA/KSC
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read the article 'MAVEN Ready for Launch'
 
NASA managers poll the launch team to ensure all is ready for the liftoff of an Atlas V at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station's Space Launch Complex 41.The mission is to boost the Mars Atmosphere and Volatile Evolution, or MAVEN, spacecraft on a 10-month journey to explore the Red Planet's climate history.

Credit: NASA/KSC
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read the article 'The MAVEN Countdown is Underway'
 
An Atlas V rocket is being prepared for liftoff at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station's Space Launch Complex 41.The mission is to boost the Mars Atmosphere and Volatile Evolution, or MAVEN, spacecraft on a 10-month journey to explore the Red Planet's climate history.

Credit: NASA/KSC
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read the article 'MAVEN Separates from Centaur Upper Stage'
 
Following liftoff at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station's Space Launch Complex 41, the Mars Atmosphere and Volatile Evolution, or MAVEN, spacecraft separates from the Centaur upper stage as it begins a 10-month journey to explore the Red Planet's climate history.

Credit: NASA/KSC
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read the article 'Liftoff of MAVEN'
Liftoff of MAVEN - 11/18/2013
 
An Atlas V rocket lifts off at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station's Space Launch Complex 41.The mission is to send the Mars Atmosphere and Volatile Evolution, or MAVEN, spacecraft on a 10-month journey to explore the Red Planet's climate history.

Credit: NASA/KSC
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read the article 'MAVEN Rolls to the Launch Pad'
 
NASA's Mars Atmosphere and Volatile EvolutioN, or MAVEN, spacecraft, mounted atop a United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket, rolls out from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station's Vertical Integration Facility to the pad at Space Launch Complex 41.

Credit: NASA/KSC
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read the article 'MAVEN Processing in Minutes'
 
NASA's Mars Atmosphere and Volatile Evolution, or MAVEN, spacecraft went through weeks of processing to ensure it was ready for a 10-month trip to the Red Planet. Watch as time-lapse video condenses that to mere minutes.
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read the article 'MAVEN to Explore Upper Atmosphere of Mars'
 
MAVEN, which stands for Mars Atmosphere and Volatile Evolution, is a new NASA spacecraft embarking on a mission to study Mars' upper atmosphere, seeking to learn how the atmosphere and environment changed over time.
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read the article 'NASA | MAVEN Mission to Mars'
 
NASA | MAVEN Mission to Mars
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read the article 'NASA's MAVEN Prepared for Trip to Mars'
 
NASA is preparing to launch a spacecraft to study the upper atmosphere of the planet Mars. It's called MAVEN or the Mars Atmosphere and Volatile EvolutioN.
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read the article 'NASA: Mars Evolution'
 
Billions of years ago when the Red Planet was young, it appears to have had a thick atmosphere that was warm enough to support oceans of liquid water - a critical ingredient for life. The animation shows how the surface of Mars might have appeared during this ancient clement period, beginning with a flyover of a Martian lake. The artist's concept is based on evidence that Mars was once very different. Rapidly moving clouds suggest the passage of time, and the shift from a warm and wet to a cold and dry climate is shown as the animation progresses. The lakes dry up, while the atmosphere gradually transitions from Earthlike blue skies to the dusty pink and tan hues seen on Mars today.
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read the article 'MAVEN: NASA's Next Mission to Mars'
 
Ancient riverbeds, crater lakes and flood channels all attest to Mars's warm, watery past. So how did the Red Planet evolve from a once hospitable world into the cold, dry desert that we see today? One possibility is that Mars lost its early atmosphere, allowing its water to escape into space, and NASA's Mars Atmosphere and Volatile EvolutioN (MAVEN) spacecraft will investigate just that. On September 25, 2013, MAVEN Principal Investigator Bruce Jakosky delivered a presentation at the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum, discussing NASA's next mission to Mars.
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read the article 'Curiosity Welcomes MAVEN to Mars'
 
This animation is a shorter clip from the video "Curiosity and Maven Explore Mars." While Curiosity will not be able to see MAVEN as it arrives at Mars, the rover welcomes the orbiter's discoveries. Curiosity is able to study the lower Martian atmosphere, while MAVEN will study the upper, both to help understand the history of the Martian climate and Mars as a past habitat. Curiosity may be able to view MAVEN when its orbit passes over Gale Crater at dusk, similar to viewing a low-earth-orbiting (LEO) satellite around Earth. As a precedent, Mars rover Spirit captured the Mars Odyssey orbiter as a bright point in the Martian sky. MAVEN is larger and flies lower, and Curiosity's cameras are better, so this animation imagines a similar sighting. The animation ends with a celebration of MAVEN, which will help in understanding Mars' climate history and uncovering when and how long Mars may have had an environment more favorable to microbial life than found today.
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read the article 'Curiosity and MAVEN Explore Mars'
 
This animation first shows Curiosity working to understand Mars as a past habitat, with a cut to MAVEN arriving at Mars to study the upper Martian atmosphere. Curiosity will not be able to 'see' MAVEN on its arrival. Later in the mission, Curiosity may be able to view MAVEN when its orbit passes over Gale Crater at dusk, similar to viewing a low-earth-orbiting (LEO) satellite around Earth. As a precedent, Mars rover Spirit captured the Mars Odyssey orbiter as a bright point in the Martian sky. MAVEN is larger and flies lower, and Curiosity's cameras are better, so this animation imagines a similar sighting. The animation ends with a celebration of MAVEN, which will help in understanding Mars' climate history and uncovering when and how long Mars may have had an environment more favorable to microbial life than found today.
Watch Video ››
read the article 'MAVEN: Mars Atmospheric Loss: Plasma Processes'
 
Mars's thick early atmosphere was likely lost to space, and the Sun is a potential culprit. When high-energy solar photons strike the upper Martian atmosphere they can ionize gas molecules, causing the atmosphere to erode over time.
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read the article 'Mars Atmospheric Loss: Neutral Processes'
 
Scientists think that the collision of neutral hydrogen molecules may have helped to drive the Martian atmosphere into space over billions of years.
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read the article 'MAVEN Teaser'
MAVEN Teaser - 5/17/2013
 
Mars presents intriguing questions to scientists: How did the Red Planet become so desolate? Did Mars once look like Earth? How has it changed? The Mars Atmosphere and Volatile Evolution Mission (MAVEN), set to launch in 2013, will explore the planet's atmosphere in search of answers.
Watch Video ››
read the article 'MAVEN: Mars Atmospheric Loss'
 
When you take a look at Mars, you probably wouldn't think that it looks like a nice place to live. It's dry, it's dusty, and there's practically no atmosphere. But some scientists think that Mars may have once looked like a much nicer place to live, with a thicker atmosphere, cloudy skies, and possibly even liquid water flowing over the surface. So how do you go from something like this--to something like this? NASA's MAVEN spacecraft will give us a clearer idea of how Mars lost its atmosphere, and scientists think that several processes have had an impact.
Watch Video ››
read the article 'Searching for Mars' Missing Atmosphere'
 
MAVEN will use its Neutral Gas and Ion Mass Spectrometer to study the interaction of neutral gases and ions in the Martian atmosphere with the solar wind, helping scientists to understand how Mars has lost its atmosphere over time.

Credit: NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center
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read the article 'MAVEN Magnetometer'
MAVEN Magnetometer - 3/29/2013
 
When you navigate with a compass you can orient yourself thanks to Earth's global magnetic field. But on Mars, if you were to walk around with a compass it would haphazardly point from one anomaly to another, because the Red Planet does not possess a global magnetosphere. Scientists think that this lack of a protective magnetic field may have allowed the solar wind to strip away the Martian atmosphere over billions of years, and now NASA's MAVEN spacecraft will study this process in detail with its pair of ring core fluxgate magnetometers. Credit: NASA/Goddard/Dan Gallagher
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MAVEN Materials

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