This story is part of, our series exploring the red planet.
It’s all packed up and ready to head to Mars on Thursday, July 30. NASA will stream the event live as the car-sized rover takes off from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida on a Atlas V rocket from the United Launch Alliance (ULA). Pre-launch coverage begins at 4 am PT and the two-hour window opens at 4:50 am PT.
NASA announced on July 22 that the mission had passed its flight readiness review, which includes a readiness assessment of the spacecraft, rocket, procedures, and personnel. “Mars is a tough customer and we don’t take anything for granted,” said Perseverance mission deputy project manager Matt Wallace.
The launch will depend on the weather and technical factors. It was previouslydue to technical problems.
Almost nine years have passed since NASA sent its previous scout vehicle, Curiosity, to Mars. Perseverance is the most advanced robot NASA has ever sent to the surface of Mars. Once established in Jezero Crater, an area with a history of water, the rover will begin a mission to look for signs of ancient microbial life.
The rover is not alone. It also carries aBeneath your belly.
NASA Perseverance Rover Ready to Explore Nature on Mars
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NASA’s mission isThis year, when the red planet is in a favorable position with respect to Earth. Losing that window means waiting until 2022 for the next opportunity. Perseverance could be launched as late as mid-August if necessary.
United Arab Emirates successfullyand July 22. All three missions are slated to reach Mars in February 2021.