Night before Launch: Mars-Bound MAVEN Spacecraft
A full moon rises behind the United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket with NASA's Mars Atmosphere and Volatile EvolutioN (MAVEN) spacecraft onboard at the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station Space Launch Complex 41, Cape Canaveral, FL, on November 17, 2013.
MAVEN is the second mission under NASA's Mars Scout Program. It will take critical measurements of the Martian upper atmosphere to help scientists understand climate change over the Red Planet's history. MAVEN is the first spacecraft devoted to exploring and understanding the Martian upper atmosphere.