NASA launched a new spacecraft to explore Mars Monday. The spacecraft, Maven, is scheduled to reach the red planet in late September of next year. It will orbit 93 to 3,729 miles from the planet's surface and gather vital information about the planet's weather patterns.
Scientists hope this data will reveal more about the planet's history, especially the cause of its deteriorating atmosphere, which has left it as the desert world it is today.
Each new mission to Mars reminds us of how far we've come in the field of Astronomy. Relative to age of the universe, it's been only a blink of the eye since our ancestors first pondered the order of the cosmos. To read more about the launch of Maven head to cnn.com and to view the history of humanity's fascination with space go to sciencesource.com.