Dr. Ellen Stofan, NASA's chief scientist. In the background inside the Payload Hazardous Servicing Facility at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida is the Mars Atmosphere and Volatile Evolution, or MAVEN, spacecraft following encapsulation in its payload fairing.
MAVEN is being prepared for its scheduled launch on Nov 18, 2013 from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Fla. atop a United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket. Positioned in an orbit above the Red Planet, MAVEN will study the upper atmosphere of Mars in unprecedented detail. For more information, visit: http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/maven/main/index.html Photo credit: NASA/Kim Shiflett