Nasa has selected United Launch Services (ULS) to launch the Mars atmosphere and volatile evolution spacecraft (MAVEN) for $187m.

MAVEN will launch in November 2013 aboard an Atlas V 401 rocket from Complex 41 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida, US.

The contract value includes additional services under other contracts for payload processing, launch vehicle integration, mission unique launch site ground support, and tracking, data and telemetry services.

MAVEN, a Mars orbiter, hopes to enhance the understanding of Mars’s climate history through a comprehensive picture of its upper atmosphere, ionosphere, solar energy drivers and atmospheric losses.

Nasa’s Goddard Space Flight Center manages the MAVEN project.