Mars Rover Climbs Inside Atlas V Rocket, Launch Set by August 15

Nose cone housing the Perseverance rover 15 photos
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With the entire planet in the grips of an invisible enemy, humanity is still looking ahead to a potential future among the stars. The most important mission to Mars is now set for liftoff between July 30 and August 15, and the final steps are being taken to get all things ready.
At the core of the mission is a new rover called Perseverance. The machine, which is the size of an average car, carries with it crucial experiments, including a few that were never attempted before – for some, the most important is the one that calls for it to produce oxygen from Martian atmospheric carbon dioxide, the first shy step into a potential, very distant terraforming process.

This past week, the rover felt for the last time with its wheels the warmth of planet Earth. On July 7, it was fitted inside the nose cone that will protect it during launch, and that in turn was perched on top the United Launch Alliance Atlas V booster that will send it on its merry way.

"I have seen my fair share of spacecraft being lifted onto rockets," said in a statement John McNamee, project manager for the Mars 2020 Perseverance rover mission at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Southern California. "But this one is special because there are so many people who contributed to this moment. To each one of them I want to say, we got here together, and we'll make it to Mars the same way."

The official launch date of the rover is not yet set (the interval is, as said, July 30- August 15), as there are many aspects to factor in. No matter when it will happen though, NASA says the rover is scheduled to land on Mars, in the Jezero Crater, on February 18, 2021.

You can have an in-depth look at the Perseverance rover by following this link to the coverstory on it we ran back in 2018.
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About the author: Daniel Patrascu
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Daniel loves writing (or so he claims), and he uses this skill to offer readers a "behind the scenes" look at the automotive industry. He also enjoys talking about space exploration and robots, because in his view the only way forward for humanity is away from this planet, in metal bodies.
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