In Brief

This Rocket Is Going to Mars with NASA's MAVEN Probe (Photos)

The Atlas 5 rocket set to carry MAVEN into space standing on its launch pad. Photo released Nov. 16, 2013.
The Atlas 5 rocket set to carry MAVEN into space standing on its launch pad. Photo released Nov. 16, 2013. (Image credit: Miriam Kramer/

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. — The Atlas 5 rocket set to take NASA's next Mars probe into space Monday is on the launch pad. Earlier today (Nov. 16) the United Launch Alliance rocket housing the space agency's Mars Atmosphere and Volatile Evolution spacecraft (MAVEN) rolled out onto the pad in preparation for the launch.

The 188-foot-rocket (57.3 meters) is scheduled to lift off from here at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station at 1:28 p.m. EST (1828 GMT) on Monday. At the moment, there is a still a 60 percent chance that weather will be favorable for the afternoon launch. You can watch the launch live on via NASA TV.

Once launched, MAVEN will spend about 10 months in transit to Mars, where it will then collect data about how the Red Planet became the cold desert studied today. Research suggests that Mars was one a wet world, but the influence of the sun and other factors caused the planet to lose its atmosphere. MAVEN is making its journey to Mars to more fully understand those changes. [See more photos from NASA's MAVEN mission to Mars] reporter Miriam Kramer stands in front of the Atlas 5 rocket housing the MAVEN probe on the launch pad in Florida. Photo released Nov. 16, 2013. (Image credit: Miriam Kramer/

Visit for the latest MAVEN news, photos and videos. You can also follow MAVEN coverage through the Mission Status Center at's partner, Spaceflight Now.

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Miriam Kramer
Staff Writer

Miriam Kramer joined as a Staff Writer in December 2012. Since then, she has floated in weightlessness on a zero-gravity flight, felt the pull of 4-Gs in a trainer aircraft and watched rockets soar into space from Florida and Virginia. She also served as's lead space entertainment reporter, and enjoys all aspects of space news, astronomy and commercial spaceflight.  Miriam has also presented space stories during live interviews with Fox News and other TV and radio outlets. She originally hails from Knoxville, Tennessee where she and her family would take trips to dark spots on the outskirts of town to watch meteor showers every year. She loves to travel and one day hopes to see the northern lights in person. Miriam is currently a space reporter with Axios, writing the Axios Space newsletter. You can follow Miriam on Twitter.