On Monday, Nov. 18 2013, NASA’s MAVEN spacecraft thundered off the surface of the Earth to begin its half-billion-mile journey to Mars. The $670 million Mars Atmosphere and Volatile Evolution mission, or MAVEN, is the product of 10 years of work from people across the country, and Monday’s countdown to launch went about as smoothly as could be.
MAVEN’s ride to space, the 188-foot-tall workhorse United Launch Alliance Atlas-V 401 rocket, thundered out of Cape Canaveral’s Space Launch Complex 41 under overcast skies right on time at 1:28 p.m. EST. The 5,400-pound, bus-size spacecraft (with solar arrays deployed) roared into space on 860,000 pounds of thrust, pushing through the clouds and sending sonic booms out for miles around from the Atlas-V’s RD-180 engine. Read our detailed launch storyHERE!
The photographers at AmericaSpace put a lot of work into capturing the images that document our nation’s space program up close and personal, and presented here are some of the fantastic views captured by our team.