NASA launched a new spacecraft named Maven to Mars on Monday in an effort to understand the mysteries around the Red Planet's past and current atmosphere. The launch team on Monday morning prepared for take off at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station's Launch Complex 41 in Florida and the orbiter took off promptly at 1:28 p.m. ET, as scheduled. Maven will orbit Mars and move through its various elevations to collect samples so scientists can study how the planet lost its life-friendly environment.
NASA's Maven, short for Mars Atmosphere and Volatile Evolution, with a capital "N'' in EvolutioN, atop a United Launch Alliance Atlas 5 rocket, lifts off from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Monday, Nov. 18, 2013, in Cape Canaveral, Fla. The spacecraft will orbit Mars and study the planet's upper atmosphere. (AP Photo/John Raoux)
Monday, Nov 18, 2013 Updated at 11:47 AM PDT