MAVEN Is Ready to Go

Mission:  Mars Atmosphere and Volatile Evolution (MAVEN)

Rocket: Atlas V

Launch Facility: Cape Canaveral Florida / Complex 41

Current Status: Go –

Launch Date: Monday, 18 November. 2013 18:28 UTC / 13:28 EDT

Odds of Launch: 60 percent (as of the morning of 17 Nov )

MAVEN on the pad ready for launch.  Credit: NASA.  Note. Will try to replace this with live video tomorrow.

MAVEN on the pad ready for launch. Credit: NASA. Note. I took the live feed off and the replay is in the next post

NOAA’s Forecast:

Monday: A 50 percent chance of showers. Mostly cloudy, with a high near 81. Southwest wind around 5 mph becoming calm in the afternoon.

MAVEN will collect data to determine the role that loss of volatile from the Mars atmosphere to space has played through time, giving insight into the history of Mars’ atmosphere and climate, liquid water, and planetary habitability.

To collect that data MAVEN will use a suite of eight sensors:

Neutral Gas and Ion Mass Spectrometer
Langmuir Probe and Waves
Imaging Ultraviolet Spectrometer
Solar Wind Electron Analyzer
Solar Wind Ion Analyzer
Solar Energetic Particles
SupraThermal And Thermal Ion Composition

The principle investigator is Dr. Bruce Jakosky of the University of Colorado’s Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics (CU/LASP) and this will be the first Mars mission managed by the Goddard Space Flight Center.