Tags: Trump Administration | mars | nasa | perseverance | launch | rover | space

NASA's Perseverance Mars Rover OK for Thursday Launch

A close-up view of a full size model of the Perseverance rover is on display at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station
A close-up view of a full size model of the Perseverance rover is on display at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida on Tuesday. (Gregg Newton/Getty Images)

By    |   Tuesday, 28 July 2020 08:54 PM

The rocket set to carry the Mars rover Perseverance to the red planet has been given the OK for a liftoff Thursday morning from Cape Canaveral in Florida, having passed its launch readiness review with a favorable weather forecast.

The $2.7 billion rover – a 2,300-pound SUV-size vehicle – will have a two-hour launch window beginning at 7:50 a.m. ET before it begins a seven-month, 40-million-mile journey with a sky crane-like landing planned for Feb. 18.

After launching aboard an Atlas V rocket built by the Boeing-Lockheed created United Launch Alliance, the nuclear-powered six-wheeled rover is to spend nearly two years – a Mars year – searching the Jezero Crater for signs of ancient Martian life.

It is to collect several dozen soil and rock samples, which are planned to be returned to Earth via a joint NASA/European Space Agency project by as early as 2031.

While six Apollo missions brought back hundreds of pounds of rock samples from the moon, and robotic spacecraft have captured and returned materials and dust from asteroids and other cosmic bodies, the Perseverance mission will set a precedent.

"That'll be the first time in history that we've done a Mars return mission," NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine said during a Monday news conference. "In fact, it's the first time in history we've done a return mission from any planet."

This is NASA's fifth Mars rover mission and has several new technologies not included in previous trips.

Among them are MOXIE, an instrument designed to generate oxygen from Mars' carbon-dioxide thick atmosphere, a four-pound helicopter named Ingenuity, which will be strapped to the underside of Perseverance, dropped and perform test flights.

"Imagine looking from Perseverance out at a helicopter that is flying around Perseverance, and the helicopter is looking back at Perseverance, giving us images of Perseverance — what Perseverance is doing," Bridenstine said. "We're going to be able to see with our own eyes, with motion pictures, these kinds of activities happening on another world."

NASA has until Aug. 15 to launch Perseverance before it would have to placed in storage until 2022, when Mars would be in position again to attempt another launch.

If successful, Perseverance will be the third mission to Mars to be launched in the past two weeks. Tianwen-1 (Questions to Heaven) from China is attempting to become the second nation to place a rover on Mars, and the United Arab Emirates' Al-Amal (or Hope) orbital probe launched from Japan.

China has placed two rovers on the moon.

© 2020 Newsmax. All rights reserved.


   
1Like our page
2Share
SciTech
The rocket set to carry the Mars rover Perseverance to the red planet has been given the OK for a liftoff Thursday morning from Cape Canaveral in Florida, having passed its launch readiness review with a favorable weather forecast.
mars, nasa, perseverance, launch, rover, space, exploration, rocket, cape canaveral
417
2020-54-28
Tuesday, 28 July 2020 08:54 PM
Newsmax Media, Inc.
 

Newsmax, Moneynews, Newsmax Health, and Independent. American. are registered trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc. Newsmax TV, and Newsmax World are trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc.

NEWSMAX.COM
America's News Page
© Newsmax Media, Inc.
All Rights Reserved