The recent shutdown of the US government has not stopped NASA from its Mars mission. The space agency said the upcoming mission is on time.
NASA announced on Friday its MAVEN (Mars Atmospheric and Volatile Evolution) mission will launch as scheduled. It will take off on November 18. It will play a vital role in support and communications for operating space missions in Mars and just because of government shutdown it should not cease operations.
MAVEN’s lead investigator Bruce Jakosky said, “We have already restarted spacecraft processing at Kennedy Space Center, working toward being ready to launch on November 18. We will continue to work over the next couple of days to identify any changes in our schedule or plans that are necessary to stay on track.”
He added further that the Curiosity rovers on Mars and Opportunity are supported by the Odyssey that was launched in 2001 and Reconnaissance Orbiter launched in 2005. The MAVEN mission will thereafter proceeded on time and allow NASA in protecting and supporting the existing assets.
Just twenty days are left for the MAVEN launching and reaching to Mars. It must be launched within this time otherwise delay may take place and resuming of the mission will be taking two years later when the red planet will be aligned again favorably with Earth. This delay will be very costly and time-consuming too.
Jakosky added, “Although the exception for MAVEN is not being done for science reasons, the science of MAVEN clearly will benefit from this action. Launching in 2013 allows us to observe at a good time in the 11-year solar cycle.”