Kennedy Space Center Holds 4-Day Pre-Launch Celebration for MAVEN Launch November 14-18

On November 18, a massive United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket carrying the Mars Atmosphere and Volatile EvoultioN (MAVEN) orbiter is scheduled to launch from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station.

MAVEN missionThe Kennedy Space Center is holding a four-day pre-launch celebration starting November 14, leading up to the historic launch.

The MAVEN mission will explore the Red Planet’s upper atmosphere, ionosphere and interactions with the sun and solar wind, and is the first mission dedicated to measuring the upper atmosphere of the planet.

From Thursday, Nov. 14 through Sunday, Nov. 17, Visitor Complex guests can discover a wide array of displays, exhibits and models themed around Humans 2 Mars.

Guests also have the opportunity to hear firsthand from experts about the fascinating science behind MAVEN during daily presentations including:

  • Nov. 14, 11 a.m. and 4 p.m., Kelly Fast, MAVEN program scientist, NASA Headquarters
  • Nov. 15, 11 a.m., Sandra Cauffman, MAVEN deputy project manager, Goddard Space Flight Center and 4 p.m., Dave Lavery, program executive for Solar System Exploration, NASA Headquarters
  • Nov. 16, 11 a.m. and 4 p.m. Jim Green, NASA planetary science chief, NASA headquarters
  • Nov. 17, 11 a.m., Sandra Cauffman, MAVEN deputy manager, Goddard Space Flight Center and 2 p.m., Bill Nye the Science Guy

All presentations and special displays and exhibits are included in regular admission to the Visitor Complex.

On the 18th, KSC Visitor Complex guests may view the launch from the Apollo/Saturn V Center, the closest possible public viewing area, or specially designated areas at the Visitor Complex. Guests may bring blankets and compact “umbrella-style” folding chairs that are carried in shoulder bags. Space will be available on a first come, first serve basis.

Launch viewing is included in regular Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex admission and features live mission control commentary. The rocket will lift off from Launch Complex 41 with a launch window from 1:28pm to 3:28pm EST.

For more information, or to purchase admission, visit

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