By Irene Klotz CAPE CANAVERAL, Florida (Reuters) - An unmanned Atlas 5 rocket blasted off from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida on Monday, sending a Mars orbiter on its way to study how the planet most like Earth in the solar system lost its water. Unlike previous Mars probes, the Mars Atmosphere and Volatile Evolution Mission, or MAVEN, will not be looking at or landing on the planet's dry, dusty surface. Instead, MAVEN will scan and sample what remains of the thin Martian atmosphere and watch in real-time how it is peeled away, molecule by molecule, by killer solar radiation. The first step of the planned year-long, $671 million mission was getting MAVEN into space. The satellite, tucked inside a protective nosecone, lifted off aboard a United Launch Alliance Atlas 5 rocket at 1:28 p.m. EST/1838 GMT to begin a 10-month flight to Mars. United Launch Alliance is a partnership of Boeing and Lockheed Martin. Upon arrival, MAVEN will fire its braking rocket to put itself into a highly elliptical orbit around Mars, which will allow it to dip down as close as about 65 miles from the ground to gather air samples for analysis. At its highest point, MAVEN will be about 3,728 miles away, a vantage point for measuring how much and what types of radiation are sweeping past the planet from the sun and cosmic sources. The point of the project is to determine how much of the atmosphere is being lost to space today and extrapolate back in time to figure out what was happening in Mars' past. EARTH'S LOST TWIN? In the 49 years since NASA's Mariner 4 spacecraft flew by Mars for the first time, an increasingly more sophisticated series of orbiters, landers and rovers have amassed solid evidence that the fourth planet from the sun was once much more like Earth, with oceans, rivers, rain and snow. "We see a lot of evidence for liquid water having flowed over the surface in ancient times. We see river channels, features that look like there have been lakes inside of impact craters. We see minerals that form only in the presence of liquid water," said lead scientist Bruce Jakosky, with the University of Colorado at Boulder. "All of these suggest that there has been water on the planet early in time and today of course we see a cold, dry, desert-like planet," he said. Figuring out what happened to Mars' climate hinges on learning what happened to the planet's water and the once-thick atmosphere needed to keep Mars warm enough for surface water. The information also is expected to help scientists home in on when in Mars' history it may have been most suitable for life to evolve. NASA's ongoing Curiosity rover mission is scouting for potential habitats that could have supported microbial life. "Water is a requirement for life and if we understand where the water has been and why it's not there anymore we can learn more about what the history of the potential for life has been," Jakosky said. There are two options for where the planet's missing water and atmosphere went: down into the ground or up into space. Scientists know some of the planet's carbon dioxide ended up on the surface and joined with minerals in the crust. But so far, the ground inventory is not large enough to account for the early, thick atmosphere Mars would have needed to support water on its surface. MAVEN is designed to explore the other option, that the water and atmosphere were lost into space, a process that began about 4 billion years ago when the planet's protective magnetic field mysteriously turned off. "The sun, the solar wind can drive processes that remove gas from the top of the atmosphere. We want to understand whether the sun was able to remove gas from the top of the atmosphere and how much," Jakosky said. MAVEN is due to reach Mars on September 22, 2014 - two days before India's Mars Orbiter Mission, which launched on November 5. India's probe has been raising its orbit around Earth and should be in position on December 1 to begin the journey to Mars. (Editing by David Adams and Sandra Maler)
- The Daily Beast
BRENDAN SMIALOWSKIDays after the Secret Service pushed back on the stunning testimony that former President Donald Trump violently freaked out during a Jan. 6 presidential SUV ride, CNN reported on Friday that accounts of Trump lunging at his Secret Service agents have spread around the agency for the past year.According to two Secret Service sources, stories similar to ex-Trump aide Cassidy Hutchinson’s account—which she testified under oath was told to her by former Trump staffer and current S
"I was deeply unhappy, barely containing secrets that would soon devastate me emotionally and send me to the brink of suicide at the height of my fame."
- The Guardian
It was the second warning Cassidy Hutchinson had received before her deposition, cautioning her against cooperating with the panel
- The Daily Beast
Anderson County Sheriff's OfficeA 28-year-old Texas man accused of orchestrating the horrific smuggling operation that killed 53 migrants this week frantically texted the driver when the truck went off the radar and later admitted to a confidential informant he had no idea the air conditioning had failed in the sweltering big rig, the feds say.Christian Martinez, 28, was arrested Tuesday on a trafficking charge involving death that could result in life in prison or the death penalty after migran
- CBS News
One of the girl's family members jumped in the water and beat the shark off of her until she was free, officials said.
The family of former Vancouver cop Nicole Chan, the officer who died by suicide after being blackmailed into an inappropriate intimate relationship with her superiors, filed a lawsuit against the city and its police department. The lawsuit, which was filed by Chan’s sister Jennifer Chan and mother Lai Ching Ho in January but only recently came to light, claims that Chan was coerced into having an intimate relationship with her superior, Sgt. David Van Patten. Van Patten reportedly made contact with Chan while the latter was applying for a new position within the Vancouver Police Department in early 2016.
Legendary competitive eater Joey Chestnut reveals what happened to his body after he ate 76 hot dogs and buns in 10 minutes
Joey Chestnut told Insider that he starts sweating profusely after the competition, and people have told him it smells like hot dogs.
- AZCentral | The Arizona Republic
In a Republican gubernatorial debate full of cringe-worthy moments, their answers on whether the 2020 election was stolen were the creepiest of all.
- Golf Channel
The PGA Tour added seven more players to the list of those who have been indefinitely suspended because LIV participation.
- Good Housekeeping
"Hollaback Girl" singer and 'The Voice' coach Gwen Stefan posted a bikini photo of herself on Instagram while working on her makeup line. See the photo and read how fans reacted.
The Washington Examiner published the blistering editorial in the wake of bombshell testimony from the Jan. 6 committee hearings.
- The Columbus Dispatch
After the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade, it's left some in Ohio to travel outside the state for an abortion. Among them is a 10-year-old girl.
- Ukrayinska Pravda
ALONA MAZURENKO - FRIDAY, 1 JULY 2022, 21:06 Valerii Zaluzhnyi, Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, said that Russian occupying forces conducted an airstrike on Zmiinyi (Snake) Island on 1 July, dropping phosphorous bombs on the island.
- NBC Sports BayArea
By re-signing only one of their top three free agents, Kevon Looney, the Warriors created more room for the future core to contribute. Winning it all makes this an easier call.
- The Wrap
James Corden Refuses to Call Peter Doocy by Correct Name While ‘Filling In’ as White House Press Secretary (Video)
Corden decided Doocy's name was David and didn't leave any room for argument
- NY Daily News
The Jan. 6 committee apparently suspects that the Trump loyalist who sought to pressure bombshell witness Cassidy Hutchinson into keeping quiet was not only acting as an intermediary for White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows. The panel reportedly wants to interview the unnamed “associate” of Meadows as a “fact witness” to what the former President Donald Trump and his chief of staff were ...
- Women's Health
Addison Rae just wore the most stunning nude slip dress for an in-bed photoshoot. The pics? Super sultry! Here are the best dupes for her silky tank dress.
This isn't your average swimsuit.
- NBC Sports BayArea
Juan Toscano-Anderson is a Los Angeles Laker, but is forever grateful for his time in the Bay.
- NBC Sports Boston
Twitter went into a frenzy after the Minnesota Timberwolves reportedly acquired Rudy Gobert in a blockbuster deal with the Utah Jazz.