Spaceflight Insider

NASA centers host public viewing events for launch of MAVEN mission

Artistic rendition of MAVEN with Mars backdrop and Earth in the distance

This artist's concept shows the MAVEN spacecraft in orbit around the Red Planet, with a fanciful image of her home planet in the background. Image Credit: NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center

Several of NASA’s centers will be working to guide the public’s eyes to the Red Planet on Monday. Five of the space agency’s centers will host a variety of events in honor of the launch of the Mars Atmosphere and Volatile Evolution (MAVEN) spacecraft. Liftoff is currently set to take place Monday, Nov. 18, 2013, at 1:28 p.m. EST from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station’s Space Launch Complex 41 in Florida.

Each center will host a variety of activities designed to gain a better understanding of what forces were at play which produced the Martian atmosphere we see today.

The centers which will host events are: NASA Headquarters in Washington D.C., the Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville Alabama, NASA’s Stennis Space Center in Mississippi, NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Maryland and the Independent Verification and Validation (IV&V) Facility located in West Virginia. Below are the times (all times are Eastern) ad the details of the events as listed by NASA:

11 a.m. — NASA’s Stennis Space Center, near Bay St. Louis, Miss.: The INFINITY Science Center located on I-10 Exit 2, will host a live viewing of the launch, science project discussions with featured speakers, conduct a parachute design and launch demonstration and a Mars habitat competition. Visitors also may have their photographs taken on a simulated Martian surface. For more information, call 228-533-9025, ext. 311.

Noon — NASA Headquarters, Washington: Launch coverage will be available in the James Webb Auditorium at 300 E St. SW. Jim Garvin, chief scientist at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt Md., will discuss Mars exploration plans and answer questions from the public. MAVEN materials and other handouts will be available.

Noon — NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Ala. and the U.S. Space & Rocket Center will host a pre-launch panel discussion with representatives from the Marshall Center titled “Deep Space Exploration: Mars and Beyond.” There will also be educational activities for children. The event will be held in the U.S. Space & Rocket Center’s Davidson Center Digital Theater located at One Tranquility Base, Huntsville, Ala., 35805. The event is open to the public and there will be signs directing the public where to park. The launch will be shown live in the theater at 1:28 p.m. For more information, contact Shannon Ridinger at 256-544-3774.

1 p.m. — NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Md.: Goddard’s Visitors Center auditorium located off ICESat Road (formerly Soil Conservation Road) will show the launch and have available a planetary scientist to answer visitors’ questions.  For more information, contact the Goddard newsroom at 301-286-8955.

1 p.m. — NASA’s Independent Verification and Validation (IV&V) Facility, 5000 NASA Blvd. 5th Floor, Fairmont, W.Va: Events will include educational activities for students and educators before and after launch coverage.  Take either elevator to the 5th floor.  Media should use the South entrance. For more information contact Jennifer Neptune at: 304-367-8262.


Jason Rhian spent several years honing his skills with internships at NASA, the National Space Society and other organizations. He has provided content for outlets such as: Aviation Week & Space Technology,, The Mars Society and Universe Today.

⚠ Commenting Rules

Post Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *