MAVEN – Launched 9 Months Ago, 34 Days to Mars Orbit Insertion

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MAVEN launched nine months ago today

On November 18, 2013, at 1:28 p.m. ET, the MAVEN spacecraft launched successfully towards Mars atop the United Launch Alliance Atlas V-401 rocket from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station.

Today, ‪#‎MAVEN‬ is just 34 days from ‪#‎Mars‬ Orbit Insertion (on September 21 at 10 p.m. EDT), all systems are operating nominally, all of the cruise phase instrument and spacecraft checkouts have been completed successfully, all instruments are in excellent health and have been turned off in preparation for the orbit insertion maneuver.

A couple of cruise phase highlights: the IUVS instrument obtained a spectrum of Mars’ sunlit disk in the mid-UV range (http://bit.ly/1o6ScFj); and the Particles and Fields Package has demonstrated its ability to monitor space weather at Mars (http://bit.ly/1tjBL0L)!

MAVEN draws closer each day to becoming the first mission devoted entirely to understanding Mars’ upper atmosphere and helping to solve the climate mystery of the Red Planet.

MAVEN launch highlights video:
http://youtu.be/vCAb5pcPcfQ

(Video credit: United Launch Alliance)