NASA Scientist Discusses New Mars Mission

By KOLR10 News

Published 11/13 2013 06:39AM

Updated 11/13 2013 06:42AM

NASA is getting ready to head back to Mars.

NASA's next Mars-bound spacecraft, the Mars Atmosphere and Volatile Evolution (MAVEN), is set to launch Monday, Nov. 18.  

The two-hour launch window extends from 1:28 p.m. to 3:28 p.m. EST. Liftoff will occur from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station's Space Launch Complex 41.

NASA scientist Michelle Thaller speaks live with KOLR10 News Daybreak via satellite Wednesday morning about the MAVEN mission.  Watch the attached video to see our interview with Michelle.

This new NASA mission will answer ancient Mars climate mystery.
On Nov. 18th, NASA is heading back to Mars to solve a four billion year old question - what made Mars turn into a red, desolate planet.

Four billion years ago Mars may have looked a lot like Earth with blue skies and balmy temperatures. It likely had an atmosphere as thick as the Earth's that not only may have sustained flowing water, but possibly even supported life. So what stripped away Mars' atmosphere leaving behind a cold, red desert? NASA is launching the Mars Atmosphere and Volatile Evolution or MAVEN mission on Nov. 18th to investigate this ancient mystery.

More about the mission:

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. It will orbit the planet in an elliptical orbit that allows it to pass through and sample the entire upper atmosphere on every orbit. The spacecraft will investigate how the loss of Mars' atmosphere to space determined the history of water on the surface.

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