19 November 2013
NASA's Mars Atmosphere and Volatile Evolution (MAVEN) mission launched Monday from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station. The United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket carrying the 5,400-pound spacecraft lifted off at 1:28 p.m. EST. MAVEN's solar arrays successfully deployed and are producing power. Lockheed Martin, who built the spacecraft, is responsible for mission operations, while the University of California at Berkeley's Space Sciences Laboratory provided science instruments for the mission. NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, CA provides navigation support, Deep Space Network support, and telecommunications relay hardware and operations. While the launch is considered a big milestone, MAVEN must get to Mars and complete a check-out period before it can begin collecting science data. It will take MAVEN 10 months to reach the Red Planet, with arrival scheduled for 22 Sept. 2014. AIAA congratulates ULA, Lockheed Martin, ATK, and many more AIAA corporate members on the successful launch of MAVEN to Mars. (Image Credit: NASA)
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