MAVEN spacecraft blasts off to Mars

By Ashley Yeager, 12:12 PM November 18, 2013

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.

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