WATCH: Countdown To MAVEN’s Quest to Find Out What Happened On Mars

NASA attempts to discover why the red planet became dry and barren

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Kim Shiflett / NASA

The Mars Atmosphere and Volatile Evolution (MAVEN) spacecraft at Florida's Cape Canaveral Air Force Station.

Was there ever life on Mars? What happened to the blue skies, clouds and water that covered the planet billions of years ago? A spacecraft known as MAVEN (short for Mars Atmosphere and Volatile Evolution) could help scientists find out more about the red planet’s mysterious past.

(MORE: What Killed Mars? A New Spacecraft Will Find Out)

NASA is set to launch the probe from an air force station in Florida on Monday. It will take MAVEN 10 months to reach its destination, where it will then orbit the planet, flying as low as 93 miles above the surface.

Watch the launch countdown live from 6:28 a.m. EST on Monday. Liftoff is scheduled for 1:28 p.m.

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