NASA’s Maven Mission has successfully set off for Mars.
Taking off from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida, the orbiter was launched on an Atlas V rocket. Providing all goes well on its journey, the probe will enjoy a 10 month trip to the red planet, where it will study the atmosphere in an attempt to try and understand the processes that have robbed the planet of most of its air.
Evidence suggests that Mars was once covered in a thick blanket of gases which enabled the formation of water on its surface. Today, however, the air pressure is at such a low that any presence of water would be instantly boiled away.
Maven was released from the rocket just under an hour after leaving the ground, opening its solar panels and setting itself into cruise mode.
“Everything looks good. The signals are coming in fine, and so far the systems that are on are reporting back great. We’re heading out to the Red Planet,” confirmed David Mitchell, Nasa’s Maven project manager.
Check out the entire article here at BBC News, along with video of the launch.