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NASA is preparing to launch its next spacecraft. The Mars Atmosphere and Volatiles Evolution mission (MAVEN) is set to launch on November 18 from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida. MAVEN will examine Mars’ upper atmosphere, which could potentially provide data on the history of climate change on the Red Planet.
Scientists and others were concerned the government shutdown from October 1 through October 16 would delay the flagship mission to Mars, as thousands of furloughed NASA employees could no longer work to prepare the mission. MAVEN has to be launched before mid-December while Mars and Earth are properly aligned. Had they missed that window the mission would have to have been delayed until 2016.
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