NASA Delayed The Mars 2020 Rover Launch. Here’s What We Know
NASA says the launch of the Mars 2020 rover, Perseverence, will be delayed by a few days.
Instead of launching on July 17, it’ll — fingers crossed — start it’s trip to the Red Planet on July 20. The delay is due to an issue with the crane, but it fortunately has since been repaired.
More about the Mars 2020 Rover mission
When the Mars 2020 rover launches into space matters. That’s because there is a limited window for NASA to send the rover to Mars. As Space.com shares, the launch is planned for when Mars and Earth are aligned. That alignment only happens once every 26 months.
Fortunately, the Mars 2020 team has some leeway, as they just need to launch Perseverance by August 11 in order to make this space mission happen.
While the teams have been working remotely due to the pandemic, that isn’t the reason for the delay. Rather, they needed to fix an issue with the ground system equipment, the crane in particular. They’ve fixed those issues, so they’re currently just three days behind schedule.
So what will the Mars 2020 rover do once its on the red planet?
It’ll join some old rovers up on the red planet to search for any signs of life, like fossilized evidence. The Mars 2020 rover also has a drill, which will be used to collect some samples that can, hopefully, be returned to Earth at some point.
The Perseverance rover is also bringing a helicopter to the planet, a first for a Mars Rover. That helicopter will be a test; if it can fly then it’ll tell researchers a lot about the potential to fly “heavier-than-air” vehicles on Mars.
It will have some other tasks to do as well, but first it needs to get there! Here’s hoping the Mars 2020 rover launch happens on July 20 as planned.
After all, it’s one more step toward NASA getting a manned mission to Mars.
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