NASA is preparing to launch its Mars Atmosphere and Volatile Evolution, or MAVEN, spacecraft in November.

MAVEN will focus on Mars' thin atmosphere rather than hunting methane. 

It is designed to help scientists figure out how the planet managed to lose an atmosphere that at one time was believed to be thicker than Earth's.

MAVEN is going to focus on trying to understand what the history of the atmosphere has been.

It will assess how the climate has changed through time and how that has influenced the evolution of the surface and the potential habitability at least by microbes of Mars.