The United States is going back to Mars! On NASA's Mars 2020 mission, ULA's Atlas V rocket will send NASA's perseverance rover to the red planet. Perseverance will land on Mars on February 18th, 2021 at the site of an ancient river delta. The rover is designed to get a better understanding of the geology of mars while also seeking signs of ancient life, and will be collecting and storing a set of rock samples that are set to be returned to Earth in the future.
The perseverance rover is equipped with seven different instruments, here's a brief breakdown;
-Planetary Instrument for X-ray Lithochemistry (PIXL)
-Scanning Habitable Environments with Raman & Luminescence for Organics and Chemicals (SHERLOC)
-The Radar Imager for Mars’ Subsurface Experiment (RIMFAX)
-The Mars Oxygen In-Situ Resource Utilization Experiment (MOXIE)
and the Mars Environmental Dynamics Analyzer (MEDA)
You can learn all about the Perseverance rover and what all the different instruments are for in depth here: https://mars.nasa.gov/files/mars2020/Mars2020_Fact_Sheet.pdf
On the flip side of things, during the wet dress rehearsal for the ULA Atlas V rocket, a liquid oxygen sensor line presented off-nominal data causing more time needed for their team to evaluate. The launch is now targeting Thursday, July 30th at 12:15pm EDT, however the Mars
Transit launch window extends until Saturday, August 15th. As always stay tuned to Hover-Slam Space and all our social media pages to be up to date on the latest with NASA Perseverance and the latest in the world of spaceflight!
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