Local Professor Keeping Close Eye on NASA's Maven Explorer - KiiiTV.com South Texas, Corpus Christi, Coastal Bend

Local Professor Keeping Close Eye on NASA's Maven Explorer

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CORPUS CHRISTI (Kiii News) -

NASA's newest robotic explorer, Maven, rocketed toward Mars on Monday on a quest to unravel the ancient mystery of the red planet's radical climate change.

A local professor at Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi is keeping a close watch on that mission.

Maven took off from Florida's Cape Canaveral Monday, and is scheduled to arrive at Mars on Sept. 22, 2014. Once it arrives, NASA hopes Maven will help researchers learn more about the planet's climate and atmosphere.

Feiqin Xie, assistant professor of atmospheric science at TAMUCC, said he is excited to see what Maven will find.

"We want to see how habitual Mars is, especially looking for water on Mars," Xie said. "Where was the water. Why the water was getting into space."

NASA says the mission will cost $671 million.

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