Targeting Mars

  • Released Thursday, September 4, 2014

If you want to send a spacecraft from Earth to Mars, how would you get it there? You can't aim straight at the Red Planet, because it's moving around the Sun significantly slower than the Earth. Instead, you'll have to wait for up to 26 months for a launch window, then carefully aim at a moving target. In November, 2013, the controllers of NASA's MAVEN (Mars Atmosphere and Volatile EvolutioN) spacecraft did just that. When MAVEN arrives, it will be the first spacecraft to study Mars's upper atmosphere in detail, helping scientists understand how Mars changed from a wet planet early in its history to the cold, dry world we see today.

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NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center

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This page was originally published on Thursday, September 4, 2014.
This page was last updated on Wednesday, May 3, 2023 at 1:50 PM EDT.


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