This afternoon could see the launch of NASA’s latest Mars mission: MAVEN, an unmanned spacecraft dedicated to studying the planet’s atmosphere. It’s set to takeoff from Space Launch Complex 41 in Cape Canaveral aboard a Atlas V rocket at 1:28PM, assuming conditions are clear. “We expect to learn how the modern Mars works, really in detail,” NASA’s James Garvin told CNN. “To see its climate state, to understand how the atmosphere is lost to space — how Mars may have lost a magnetic field — to take that information and map it back in time.”
The trip to Mars will take nearly two years, with MAVEN arriving to the planet in September 2014. From there, it will orbit from 93 to 3,728 miles above Mars’s surface.
Watch live coverage of the event starting at 11AM here.