Atlas 5 lifts off with MAVEN

A United Launch Alliance Atlas 5 rocket blasted off from Cape Canaveral at 1:28 p.m. EST (1828 GMT) with NASA's Mars-bound MAVEN spacecraft, kicking off a 10-month cruise to the red planet. The Atlas 5 flew in the "401" configuration with a four-meter payload fairing, a single-engine Centaur upper stage and no solid rocket boosters.

MAVEN is a $671 million mission to probe the Martian upper atmosphere in hopes of learning how Mars transformed from a warm, wet planet into the barren world seen today.

See our Mission Status Center for the latest news on the launch.

Photo Credit: Walter Scriptunas II / Spaceflight Now

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