NASA’s next Mars mission, i.e. Mars Atmosphere and Volatile Evolution probe (MAVEN for short), is ready to be launched on Monday. It will be the 10th orbiter launched by NASA to Mars.
It will be launched atop a United Launch Alliance Atlas 5 rocket from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station on Monday (Nov. 18) at 1:28 p.m. EST (1828 GMT).
“This Wednesday, we just completed our flight readiness review,” Omar Baez, NASA launch director at Kennedy Space Center, told reporters during a news briefing today (Nov. 15). “Yesterday we held our mission dress rehearsal and this morning, we completed our NASA launch readiness review. All were very successful.”
However, weather conditions could affect the launch time or day of the mission. “Forecasters from the U.S. Air Force’s 45th Weather Squadron predict a 60 percent chance of favorable conditions during the two-hour launch window,” NASA said.
After the launch from Florida, the mission will take about 10 months to reach Mars. The $671 million MAVEN will study the planet’s upper atmosphere of Mars while staying in the orbit for at least one Earth’s year.
NASA’s Next Mission to Mars Ready for Monday Launch – Space (http://www.space.com/23610-mars-maven-mission-launch-ready.html)
MAVEN – NASA (http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/maven/main/#.Uoa9xPlmj0s)