Targeting Mars

  • Released Thursday, September 4th, 2014
  • Updated Wednesday, May 3rd, 2023 at 1:50PM
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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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Please give credit for this item to:
NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center


This visualization is related to the following missions:


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This visualization originally appeared on the following tapes:
  • Cruising to Mars (ID: 2014072)
    Sunday, September 21, 2014 at 4:00AM
    Produced by - Dan Jacob