Washington, Aug 6 (ANI): NASA’s next spacecraft which is set to go to Mars arrived on Friday at the agency’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida.
It is now perched in a cleanroom to begin final preparations for its November launch.
The Mars Atmosphere and Volatile Evolution (MAVEN) spacecraft is undergoing detailed testing and fueling prior to being moved to its launch pad. The mission has a 20-day launch period that opens Nov. 18.
The spacecraft will conduct the first mission dedicated to surveying the upper atmosphere of Mars.
Scientists expect to obtain unprecedented data that will help them understand how the loss of atmospheric gas to space may have played a part in changing the planet’s climate.
“We’re excited and proud to ship the spacecraft right on schedule,” David Mitchell, MAVEN project manager at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md, said.
The spacecraft was transported from Buckley Air Force Base in Aurora, Colo., on Friday, aboard a U.S. Air Force C-17 cargo plane.
Lockheed Martin Space Systems in Littleton, Colo., designed and built the spacecraft and is responsible for testing, launch processing, and mission operations. (ANI)