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NASA approves development of 2013 Mars mission
Posted: Wed, Oct 6, 2010, 6:36 AM ET (1036 GMT)
MAVEN spacecraft illustration (NASA) NASA officials gave their approval this week to begin development of a Mars orbiter mission that will study the planet's atmosphere. The Mars Atmosphere and Volatile Evolution, or Maven, spacecraft is scheduled for launch in late 2013 to study the planet's atmosphere from orbit. The spacecraft will study the escape of gases from the present-day atmosphere to help understand how the atmosphere, originally much denser and warmer, evolved to its present state. Maven, the second Scout-class Mars mission, is managed by NASA Goddard, with the University of Colorado handing science operations; the spacecraft will be built by Lockheed Martin.
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