VIDEO: NASA launches robotic craft to Mars

VIDEO: NASA launches robotic craft to Mars

Nasa’s newest robotic explorer, Maven, is on its way to Mars.

The Maven spacecraft blasted off aboard an unmanned rocket from Cape Canaveral on Monday. It will take Maven 10 months to reach Mars following a journey of more than 440 million miles.

This is Nasa’s 21st mission to Mars since the 1960s. But it’s the first one devoted to studying the Martian upper atmosphere.

Scientists want to know why Mars went from being warm and wet during its first billion years, to the cold and dry place it is today. The early Martian atmosphere was thick enough to hold water and possibly support microbial life.

But much of that atmosphere may have been lost to space, eroded by the sun. Maven may solve this case of mysterious climate change.

More in this Section

Airline boss calls for business class ban to cut carbon emissionsAirline boss calls for business class ban to cut carbon emissions

Former Catalan minister arrested under extradition warrantFormer Catalan minister arrested under extradition warrant

Trump impeachment inquiry: President overheard asking about Ukraine investigations, Diplomat saysTrump impeachment inquiry: President overheard asking about Ukraine investigations, Diplomat says

Johnson tells EU he will not appoint a new UK commissionerJohnson tells EU he will not appoint a new UK commissioner


Lifestyle

I’d always promised myself a day off school when Gay Bryne died.Secret diary of an Irish teacher: I’ve been thinking about my students, wondering who their ‘Gay Byrne’ will be

In an industry where women battle ageism and sexism, Meryl Streep has managed to decide her own destiny – and roles, writes Suzanne HarringtonJeepers Streepers: Hollywood royalty, all hail queen Meryl

'Ask Audrey' has been the newspaper's hysterical agony aunt “for ages, like”.Ask Audrey: Guten tag. Vot the f**k is the story with your cycle lanes?

Daphne Wright’s major new exhibition at the Crawford addresses such subjects as ageing and consumerism, writes Colette SheridanFinding inspiration in domestic situations

More From The Irish Examiner