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Atlas launches MAVEN
Posted: Mon, Nov 18, 2013, 4:18 PM ET (2118 GMT)
Atlas 5 launch of MAVEN (J. Foust) An Atlas 5 rocket successfully launched NASA's latest Mars spacecraft on Monday. The Atlas 5 401 lifted off on schedule at 1:28 pm EST (1828 GMT) Monday from Launch Complex 41 at Cape Canaveral, Florida, and the MAVEN spacecraft separated from the Centaur upper stage nearly 53 minutes later, on course for Mars. There were no major technical issues during the countdown and inclement weather held off. MAVEN (Mars Atmosphere and Volatile EvolutioN) will enter an elliptical orbit around Mars in September, beginning a mission to study the planet's upper atmosphere and how the planet may have lost the warmer, thicker atmosphere it had early in its history.
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