The University of Colorado's Bruce Jankosky, principal investigator for the Mars Atmosphere and Volatile Evolution, or MAVEN, mission, speaks to a member of the news media. Inside the Payload Hazardous Servicing Facility at the agency's Kennedy Space Center in Florida, MAVEN is going through pre-launch processing. Engineers will soon fold MAVEN's power-generating solar arrays into launch position on either side of the spacecraft's main body.
MAVEN is being prepared for its scheduled launch in November 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