NASA Launches Mars Rover

Mission Update provided by NASA
The Mars 2020 Perseverance rover, powered by the United Launch Alliance Atlas V 541 rocket, has blasted off from Space Launch Complex 41 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station. The liftoff went right on time, at 7:50 a.m. EDT.

Perseverance Phoned Home – As its final critical milestone for the day, Perseverance made contact to let us know it’s officially on the way to Mars. “This signifies that NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory’s deep space network has locked on to the spacecraft, which is on its journey to Mars,” said NASA Launch Manager Omar Baez from the agency’s Launch Services Program. “Everything appears to be going nominally. Today’s count went beautifully.”

The Mars 2020 rover, Perseverance, is based on the Mars Science Laboratory’s Curiosity rover configuration. It is car-sized, about 10 feet long (not including the arm), 9 feet wide, and 7 feet tall (about 3 meters long, 2.7 meters wide, and 2.2 meters tall). But at 2,260 pounds (1,025 kilograms), it weighs less than a compact car. In some sense, the rover parts are similar to what any living creature would need to keep it “alive” and able to explore.

Learn More about Perseverance.

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