by Alex Autin

Mars Bound MAVEN Set For Launch

MAVEN Launch Count Down

Image Credit: NASA/Bill Ingalls

A full moon rises behind the United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket with NASA’s Mars Atmosphere and Volatile Evolution (MAVEN) spacecraft onboard at the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station Space Launch Complex 41, Cape Canaveral, Florida. MAVEN is the second mission under NASA’s Mars Scout Program. It will take critical measurements of the Martian upper atmosphere to help scientists understand climate change over the Red Planet’s history. MAVEN is the first spacecraft devoted to exploring and understanding the Martian upper atmosphere.

Weather Forecast Remains 60 Percent ‘Go’
As of 9.45am EST, November 17, forecasters from the U.S. Air Force 45th Weather Squadron continue to predict a 60 percent chance of favorable weather for MAVEN’s launch at 1:28pm EST Monday. The spacecraft is scheduled to liftoff at the beginning of a two hour launch window. The countdown is targeted to pick up from the T-6 hour, 20 minute mark at 6:28 am.

 The United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket carrying MAVEN rolls out to the pad on November 16 after a 20-minute journey from the Vertical Integration Facility. Photo credit: NASA/Kim Shiflett

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22 responses

  1. “It will take critical measurements of the Martian upper atmosphere to help scientists understand climate change over the Red Planet’s history.”

    Isn’t it astonishing that NASA does this but we still can’t get DSCVR to fly to measure the earth’s albedo. Don’t get me wrong, this is great science, i want more of it, but our own climate science should really take precedence. Damn politics.

    November 18, 2013 at 5:01 am

    • As long as we have national space agencies, John, I imagine we’ll have politics involved. I, for one, am a huge fan of national space agencies and as a US citizen can think of no better place I’d like my tax dollars directed than towards NASA. This said, I’m also a strong supporter of private space industry. The two working together will hopefully bring us to a day when we don’t have to choose between which science should take precedence over another, and we richly invest in all sciences.

      November 19, 2013 at 6:18 am

      • Agreed! I’m not faulting NASA, just the Machiavellian eyes which look in and meddle with their missions.

        November 19, 2013 at 6:20 am

        • Oh believe me John, I could spend days (weeks!) writing my opinions on those Machiavellian eyes. Instead I chose to focus on the good which we do manage to accomplish. There are those who expose the other far better than I could ever hope to, and to those I offer my encouragement and support.

          November 19, 2013 at 6:37 am

          • You’re a good person.

            November 19, 2013 at 6:39 am

            • ‘Good’ is a relative term. ;)

              November 19, 2013 at 7:24 am

  2. The photo against the full moon is awesome.
    The reason for the journey, inspiring

    November 18, 2013 at 5:27 am

    • When I saw that photo, Mak, I KNEW I had to post it – even if it meant being late for work. ;)

      November 19, 2013 at 6:18 am

      • Am with you on that one :-P. It is a great photo

        November 19, 2013 at 7:14 am

  3. I have a reminder to check this out. Thanks, Alex.

    November 18, 2013 at 7:29 am

    • It was a beautiful launch Jim, hope you had the chance to check out it!

      November 19, 2013 at 6:19 am

  4. I now have NASA tv up on my work desktop to see the launch this afternoon.

    November 18, 2013 at 8:34 am

    • Oh lucky you, Guapo! I had to watch a replay after I got in from work.

      November 19, 2013 at 6:20 am

  5. T minus 1 minute as I type. Thanks for the heads up

    November 18, 2013 at 12:27 pm

    • Hope you enjoyed the launch Frank, I saw the replay and it was spectacular!

      November 19, 2013 at 6:20 am

      • What??? I watched it live and you didn’t??? ;) … just pulling your leg …. and Good Morning, Alex.

        November 19, 2013 at 6:22 am

  6. It was an excellent launch. The replays from various vantage points were interesting.

    November 18, 2013 at 12:48 pm

    • Agreed, Jim :)

      November 19, 2013 at 6:21 am

      • We had clear skies this morning. I set the alarm so I would be out by 5:30 to look for ISON with binocs and my 4″ reflector. Just enough haze and moonlight to make it not 100% positive ID. I knew where to be looking. My eyes were straining. :shock:

        I hope the thing hangs together as it whips around the sun and give us a good show after Thanksgiving.

        Have a good day.

        November 19, 2013 at 6:30 am

        • I was out doing the same earlier this morning, Jim. Absolutely beautiful skies, but that moon behind me would not concede! (yes, I’ll blame it on the moon :) )

          I’m REALLY hoping it survives, I’m planning a trek to an area with dark skies durring late Dec and early Jan. A beautiful ISON would be icing on the cake for me!

          November 19, 2013 at 6:43 am

          • Here is a good tune by Bob Seger that seems to have some relevance with the title.

            November 19, 2013 at 6:56 am

            • HA! I had never heard that song before, but it’s fitting!

              November 19, 2013 at 7:30 am

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