Bright and early this morning, we NASA Social folks met at the Kennedy Space Center Visitors Complex for a tour of the space shuttle Atlantis. This is the first shuttle I've seen in person, and it was a stunning sight to see.
I am at the MAVEN launch at Kennedy Space Center for a "NASA Social" event. These events are geared towards space enthusiasts of all backgrounds who are active on social media to increase public awareness and excitement about NASA.
MAVEN is just about to launch! The mission has just released their launch press kit. This post summarizes the press kit's high points, and hopefully answers most of your questions about NASA's next Mars orbiter, scheduled for liftoff Monday at 10:28 PT / 13:28 ET / 18:28 UT.
As India's Mars Orbiter Mission continues to pump up the altitude of its orbit around Earth, NASA's MAVEN is making final preparations for its direct-to-Mars launch. All is proceeding acccording to schedule toward its November 18 launch at 1:28 EST / 10:28 PST / 18:28 UTC.
Launch preparations will resume for NASA's MAVEN spacecraft, due to launch to Mars on November 18th. Work had previously been suspended, potentially causing the spacecraft to miss its once-every-26-month launch opportunity.
The 2013 launch window for Mars is fast approaching. November represents the next chance to send spacecraft to the Red Planet; the next window doesn't open until early 2016. So NASA and the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) are working hard to prepare their respective Mars missions for launch.
No mission to Europa, diminished funding for outer planets missions, a small bump to small spacecraft missions, and an increase for asteroid detection are part of the White House's proposal for NASA in 2014.
2013 is going to be a busy year in space exploration. Two missions launch to the Moon (LADEE and Chang'E 3), and another two to Mars (MAVEN and India's mission). Curiosity should drive to the Mountain, and Opportunity to the next site on Endeavour's rim. Cassini will be seeing rings and Titan. Others should continue routine operations, except maybe MESSENGER, whose fate after March is not yet decided.
A new Mars mission, MAVEN, has finally leapt the hurdle separating its existence as an idea from its material existence. Here's MAVEN's baby picture: the just-completed "primary structure" of the spacecraft.