Perseverance Rover Launches on July 30, Here’s How to Watch

Perseverance Rover 12 photos
Photo: NASA
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Just a little over a week separates us from the moment when the Perseverance rover is scheduled to take off on its mission to Mars. The American space agency is targeting a 7:50 a.m. EDT Thursday, July 30 launch from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida, but that may change depending on a variety of factors.
For the past two years, NASA has been very busy making the rover a star of the Internet, and for good reason. Beside its mundane tasks of studying the geology and climate of Mars, the rover will actively search for signs of life, it will try to generate oxygen in what may be perceived as humanity’s first terraforming efforts, and it will even collect and store sample some other subsequent missions will pick up and return to Earth.

To get the hype up, NASA launched in the previous years a naming competition for the rover (Perseverance won) asked people to digitally write their names on chips that would travel to the Red Planet (about 11 million names were entered) and even had a live feed of the rover’s bay up and running the whole time the machine was being assembled.

It only makes sense for the launch to be a very in-your-face event. NASA will kick off pre-launch festivities on Monday, July 27, with a pre-launch news conference and science briefing, On Tuesday, some more briefings will follow, this time related to the sample return part of the mission, and another news conference is scheduled for Wednesday, July 29.

On the day of the launch, NASA will air live the start of the mission on the NASA Television Youtube channel (video attached below) and the agency’s website. By 11:30 a.m. EDT, the launch should all be done with, and a post-launch briefing is scheduled.

If you still have mixed feelings about Perseverance, you should know this: the rover is the single most important machine humans have sent to another planet. Not only is it tasked with all the chores described above, but it is also the first piece of hardware to be sent to Mars as part of the country’s Moon to Mars exploration approach that will culminate, some hope by the end of the current decade, with the first humans setting foot on another planet.

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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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