Did you know NASA's next Mars rover has a nearly identical sibling on Earth for testing? Even better, it's about to roll for the first time through a replica Martian landscape.
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A crisply rendered web application can show you where the agency's Mars 2020 mission is right now as it makes its way to the Red Planet for a Feb. 18, 2021, landing.
Headed to the Red Planet with the Perseverance rover, the pioneering helicopter is powered up for the first time in interplanetary space as part of a systems check.
NASA's next rover to the Red Planet is slated to launch no earlier than July 30. These highlights will get you up to speed on the ambitious mission.
Atop this ULA Atlas V rocket will be Perseverance, a car-sized rover which will explore an ancient river delta on Mars. Armed with a suite of six scientific instruments, Perseverance will primarily hunt for clues to the planet's distant past, and hopefully uncover signs of ancient life and habitability. The rover also carries an experiment that'll convert carbon dioxide into oxygen, a box-sized helicopter named Ingenuity that'll demonstrate powered flight on Mars, and a system that enables the rover to leave behind samples for later retrieval and return to Earth during NASA and ESA's ambitious sample return mission later this decade.
Atlas V with 5m Fairing, 4 SRB, 1 Centaur upper stage engine.See Atlas Details
United Launch Alliance (ULA) is a joint venture of Lockheed Martin Space Systems and Boeing Defense, Space & Security. ULA was formed in December 2006 by combining the teams at these companies which provide spacecraft launch services to the government of the United States. ULA launches from both coasts of the US. They launch their Atlas V vehicle from LC-41 in Cape Canaveral and LC-3E at Vandeberg. Their Delta IV launches from LC-37 at Cape Canaveral and LC-6 at Vandenberg.INFO WIKI