NASA’s MAVEN mission, to launch today, will seek a lost Mars

The video is an artist’s concept showing the transition from an ancient, habitable Mars capable of supporting liquid water on its surface to the cold desert world of today.

Today (November 18) at 1:28 p.m. EST (1728 UTC), NASA will launch its Mars MAVEN mission toward the red planet Mars.

After decades of tantalizing evidence, NASA scientists want to find out what happened to the water on Mars. It seems that, when Mars was young – billions of years ago – it had a thick atmosphere and water. It was warm enough, in fact, to support oceans of water. And oceans of water might have meant the emergence of life on Mars.

But today Mars is a dry, cold, desert world. NASA’s Mars MAVEN mission – the Mars Atmosphere and Volatile Evolution – is aimed at finding out why. Today, we’ll be saying bon voyage to this spacecraft. For now, enjoy the video below from Mars, which conceptualizes Mars’ evolution from a warm, wet world – perhaps much like Earth – to a dry desert.

Read more about the Mars MAVEN mission from NASA

Deborah Byrd