The Mars Atmosphere and Volatile EvolutioN (MAVEN) mission is part of NASA’s Mars Scout program. Set to launch in 2013, the mission will explore the Red Planet’s upper atmosphere and its interactions with the sun and solar wind, giving insight into the history of Mars’ atmosphere and climate, liquid water, and planetary habitability.
Image Credit: Corby Waste/NASA JPL

One Year To Launch: MAVEN Spacecraft Prepares For NASA’s Next Mars Mission

By Mike Killian

In one year, on November 18, 2013, the launch window will open for NASA’s next ambitious science mission to Mars, one that will – for the first time – be entirely devoted to studying the red planet’s thin upper atmosphere and answer questions about how and why the planet’s atmosphere has almost completely disappeared. NASA’s Mars Atmosphere And Volatile EvolutioN (MAVEN) mission will help scientists put together the puzzle that addresses exactly when conditions on the red planet were favorable for liquid water, as well as the potential for life, and this past week the spacecraft came one step closer to being ready for its mission.

Read more: One Year To Launch: MAVEN Spacecraft Prepares For NASA’s Next Mars Mission « AmericaSpace.

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