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MAVEN cleared for Monday launch to Mars
Posted: Sat, Nov 16, 2013, 7:14 AM ET (1214 GMT)
MAVEN spacecraft illustration (NASA) NASA said Friday that its latest mission to Mars has passed its final reviews and is ready for launch on Monday, weather permitting. The Mars Atmosphere and Volatile EvolutioN mission (MAVEN) passed a launch readiness review on Friday, NASA officials said, the last major review before launch. The Atlas 5 rocket carrying MAVEN will roll out to the pad at Cape Canaveral on Saturday morning for a launch scheduled for 1:28 pm EST (1828 GMT) Monday. Weather is the primary concern for the launch, with a 60% chance of acceptable weather Monday, falling to 40% or less on Tuesday and Wednesday as a storm front passes through. MAVEN will enter Mars orbit next September on a mission to study the planet's atmosphere and, in particular, help scientists understand what happened to the much thicker, warmer atmosphere Mars had early in its history.
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