Rocket to Mars

Touring Merritt Island the other day provided the opportunity to photograph the Vertical Integration Facility at Space Launch Complex 41 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station where a United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket is being prepared to send NASA’s Mars Atmospheric and Volatile Evolution Mission spacecraft (MAVEN) to study the atmosphere of the planet Mars. The white pedestal-like object visible through the open doors of the VIF is the top of the Atlas rocket waiting for MAVEN to be placed on it, an operation that was successfully performed today. With a little luck, MAVEN should blast off on 18 November 2013 and be on its way to Mars. Go Atlas! Go Centaur! Go MAVEN!

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