NASA’s Perseverance rover lifted off from Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral atop a United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket on July 30, but the Countdown to Mars is really only just starting. The rover’s months-long journey to Mars will continue through February 2021, then the next decade of Martian science and astrobiological discovery can begin. In this Dispatches from NASA installment, Space Explored captures the week that the Mars 2020 mission took flight in photos and video.
Perseverance Stories August 12
Perseverance Stories July 22
On the heels of the return to human space flight from American soil, NASA is launching another historic mission this year. Perseverance, the newest of NASA’s Mars rovers, plans to launch as soon as July 30, and the mission is packed full of new science experiments to learn more about the Red Planet. The new Mars rover will be launching on top of a United Launch Alliance (ULA) Atlas V rocket from Launch Complex 41 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida.
What makes Perseverance special? For starters, it’s the result of previous Mars missions dating back to the mid ’90s, and the state-of-the-art rover will be accompanied by the first-ever space helicopter…
Perseverance Stories July 20
Neil Armstrong made history 51 years ago today when the American astronaut became the first human to step foot on the Moon. Space Exploration Day on July 20 honors the Apollo 11 mission and all advances made in space.
The White House released a presidential statement this year that recognizes the recent SpaceX launch with astronauts and the upcoming NASA Mars 2020 mission as current milestones:
Perseverance Stories June 30
The window for launching from Earth to Mars opens on July 17. NASA planned to use the date to launch its newest Mars rover Perseverance tasked with finding signs of past life on Mars.
NASA associate administrator Steve Jurczyk shared on June 9, however, that the earliest date launch partner United Launch Alliance can lift off is July 20. The launch date slipped back another two days on June 24 following a “ground support systems issue identified during the packing of the spacecraft into protective fairings that go on top of the rocket.”
As of June 30, however, the current launch target is no earlier than July 30. The original launch target extended through August 5, although NASA and ULA believe they can launch as late as August 15 if needed.
Perseverance Stories June 8
Current launch target:Thursday, July 30, at 750 a.m. EDT with August 15 deadline extension
Mars 2020 is the next big mission for NASA after sending the first astronauts to the space station on a SpaceX rocket. In July, NASA’s newest Mars rover named ‘Perseverance’ will launch for Mars from Cape Canaveral, Florida.
From studying signs of past life on Mars to preparing for human life, the new Mars rover will have four long-term science goals once it reaches Martian soil:
Perseverance Stories March 5
Curiosity isn’t the only Martian rover making headlines this week. NASA will soon reveal the name of its next Mars rover at a special event held today at 1:30 p.m. ET.
NASA opened name submissions to K-12 students in U.S. public, private, and home schools last August before choosing nine finalists. The agency then conducted an online poll to let the public vote on their favorite name among the top finishers: