Get excited – We’re off to Mars! Perseverance is ready to fly off.
The countdown to Mars is officially 1 day out. And NASA is ready to send its Perseverance rover off on her almost two year’s journey to the red planet. Lift off is targeted for July 30, at 4:50 PM UTC.
NASA is going to attempt to search for signs of life in an ancient lake-bed once believed to hold water and, for the first time to take a flight on another planet.
Perseverance Quick Facts:
Mission Name: Mars 2020
Rover Name: Perseverance
Main Job: The rover will seek signs of ancient life and collect rock and soil samples for possible return to Earth.
Launch Window: July 30 – Aug 15, 2020
Launch Location: Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Florida.
Landing: Feb 18, 2021
Landing Site: Jezero Crater, Mars.
Mission Duration: At least one Mars year (About 687 Earth days)
Perseverance Key Objectives:
- Explore a geologically diverse landing site
- Assess ancient habitability
- Seek signs of ancient life
- Gather rock and soil samples that could be return to Earth by a future NASA mission
- Demonstrate technology for future robotic and human exploration
- Launch in July-August 2020 from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Florida
- Launching on a ULA Atlas 541 procured under NASA’s Launch Services Program
- Land on Mars on February 18, 2021 at the site of an ancient river delta in a lake that once filled with Jezero Crater
- Spend at least one Mars year (two earth years) exploring the landing site region.
“Explore as One”
Perseverance rover will be a long way from home, but it will carry remembrances of its home planet. Over 10.9 million people signed up to have their names travel with the rover through NASA’s Send Your Name to Mars public outreach program. The names are etched on small silicon chips that NASA installed on the rover on an aluminum plate underneath a protective shield.
You can also register your name for future NASA Mars Exploration Missions, here
The plate also bears an illustration of the Earth, our sun and Mars. Hidden in the sun’s rays is the message “explore as one,” written in Morse code.
These names and messages are a reminder that NASA’s robotic explorers never truly travel alone. Perseverance is the culmination of years of effort from NASA, but it’s also an emissary for humanity, an extension of our curiosity and sense of wonder and a little bit of Earth on Mars.
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