MAVEN spacecraft blasts off to Mars

NASA’s Mars Atmosphere and Volatile EvolutioN, or MAVEN, spacecraft blasts off from Cape Canaveral in Florida.

NASA

NASA’s Mars Atmosphere and Volatile EvolutioN, or MAVEN, spacecraft blasted off November 18 at 1:28 pm EST from Cape Canaveral, Fla., to begin its 10-month trip to the Red Planet.

In September 2014, astronomers will use MAVEN explore the Mars’ upper atmosphere and the way the charged particles there interact with the sun and solar wind. The results may provide clues about what happened to the Red Planet’s previously thick atmosphere and the liquid water that once covered the planet’s surface.

photo of Ashley Yeager

Ashley Yeager is the associate news editor at Science News. She has worked at The Scientist, the Simons Foundation, Duke University and the W.M. Keck Observatory, and was the web producer for Science News from 2013 to 2015. She has a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, and a master’s degree in science writing from MIT.

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