NASA's next Mars-bound spacecraft, the Mars Atmosphere and Volatile Evolution (MAVEN), is set to launch aboard a United Launch Alliance Atlas V 401 rocket 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.
Launch commentary coverage and prelaunch media briefings, will be carried live on NASA Television and the agency's website.
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.
NASA will host a number of pre- and post-launch activities at the agency's Kennedy Space Center in Florida, including:
Friday, Nov. 15
1 p.m. - Prelaunch news conference on NASA TV
2 p.m. - MAVEN Spanish media briefing on NASA TV
Saturday, Nov. 16
9 a.m. - Atlas V launch vehicle rollout transportation departs the Kennedy Press Site parking lot at 9 a.m. (not on NASA TV)
1:30 p.m. - Remote camera placement at Space Launch Complex 41 transportation departs the Kennedy Press Site parking lot at 1:30 p.m. (not on NASA TV).
2 p.m. - MAVEN NASA Social on NASA TV
Sunday, Nov. 17
9 a.m. - PhoneSat 2 overview media availability at Kennedy's Press Site (not on NASA TV)
10 a.m. - MAVEN mission science briefing on NASA TV
11:30 a.m. - "The Path Toward Humans to Mars" briefing on NASA TV
Monday, Nov. 18
11 a.m. - Live prelaunch commentary begins on NASA TV
Post-launch news conference on NASA TV targeted for about 2 1/2 hours after launch
Media who want to cover the MAVEN briefings and launch in person must apply for credentials at:
U.S. media requests must be received no later than Tuesday, Nov. 12. The deadline for foreign media has passed. Media may obtain access badges at the Gate 2 Press Accreditation Office. For all media, two forms of government-issued identification are required to receive Kennedy credentials. At least one form must be a government-issued photo identification, such as a passport or driver's license. For further information about accreditation, contact Jennifer Horner at 321-867-6598 or 321-867-2468.
NASA's Launch Services Program at Kennedy is responsible for launch management. United Launch Alliance of Centennial, Colo., is the provider of the Atlas V launch service. Lockheed Martin of Littleton, Colo., built the spacecraft and is responsible for mission operations after launch.
MAVEN's principal investigator is based at the Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics at the University of Colorado Boulder. The university provided science instruments and leads science operations, as well as education and public outreach, for the mission.
NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md., manages the project and provided two of the science instruments for the mission. The University of California at Berkeley's Space Sciences Laboratory also provided science instruments for the mission. NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif., provides navigation support, Deep Space Network support and Electra telecommunications relay hardware and operations.
For the latest information about all of MAVEN's media opportunities, visit: