The next Mars rover from NASA is supposed to take off next week, should all go according to the plan.
The Perseverance rover is the focus of the $2.7 billion Mars 2020 mission of NASA, and it is supposed to be launch on Thursday, the 30th of July. There will be a two-hour window that will open at 1150 GMT. The spacecraft will lift off atop a United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket from the Air Force Station in Florida. The space agency will host a series of daily press conferences, which will lead to the launch.
The team members of the mission need to have some time to deal with technical issues or bad weather on Thursday. Mars 2020 can go towards the Red Planet as long as it takes off until the 15th of August. If not, the mission will have to wait 26 months until the Earth and Mars are aligned again as they are supposed to be for this mission.
Perseverance will get on Mars’ Jezero Crater on the 18th of February 2021. The 45 kilometers Jezero was the home to a lake and a river delta in the past, and the rover will get more info about these details. It will also be looking for possible signs of ancient Mars life. The robot will collect samples that will be returned to Earth in 2031.
Mars 2020 will test new exploration technologies. It has ten instruments, and one of them is the Mars Oxygen ISRU Experiment – MOXIE. It will generate oxygen from the atmosphere of Mars. These instruments are very important when it comes to human exploration on Mars.