A ULA Atlas V rocket carrying the Mars 2020 mission for NASA lifts off from Space Launch Complex-41 at 7:50 a.m. EDT on July 30, 2020. Credit: United Launch Alliance
Today, July 30, 2020 at 7:50 a.m. EDT (11:50 UTC) NASA’s Mars 2020 rover Perseverance launched from Cape Canaveral, Florida aboard a ULA Atlas V 541 rocket. The weather at the Cape was picture-perfect and the launch went smoothly, sending NASA’s newest robotic mission to Mars on its way for an anticipated arrival and landing on February 18, 2021. If you didn’t catch the event as it was streamed live you can watch a video of the launch below:
The Perseverance rover—a souped-up, next-generation version of Curiosity, which has been operating on Mars now nearly eight years—will land in and explore Jezero Crater, where an ancient river delta may contain evidence of past life.
The landing is expected to occur on February 18, 2021, via the same type of parachute descent and sky-crane drop vehicle that put Curiosity on Mars on August 6, 2012.
In addition to the rover, the Mars 2020 mission also includes a 4-lb / 1.8-kg dual-rotor helicopter called Ingenuity. This solar-powered drone will be deployed onto ...