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How to watch live when NASA launches its Mars Perseverance rover this week



Perseverance rover explores Mars in this artist’s rendering.

NASA / JPL-Caltech

This story is part of Welcome to Mars, our series exploring the red planet.

Launch day is almost here. NASA’s Perseverance rover everything is unpacked and ready to go to March on Thursday, July 30th. NASA will stream the event live as the car-size rover takes off from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida on a United Launch Alliance (ULA) Atlas V rocket. Pre-lunch coverage starts at 04.00 and the two-hour window opens at 04:50

NASA announced on July 22 that the mission had approved its airworthiness review, which includes a contingency check of the spacecraft, rocket, procedures and personnel. “Mars is a tough customer, and we take nothing for granted,”

; said Matt Wallace, Perseverance’s Deputy Project Manager.

The launch depends on weather and technical factors. That was before delayed from earlier in the month due to technical problems.

It has been almost nine years since NASA sent its former rover, Curiosity, to Mars. Endurance is the most advanced robot that NASA has sent to Mars. Once it has settled in the Jezero crater – an area with a history of water – the rover will start a mission to search for signs of ancient microbial life.

Rover does not come alone. It also carries one experimental helicopter named Ingenuity under the stomach.

NASA’s mission is one of several to be launched to Mars in a limited time this year when the red planet is in a favorable position relative to Earth. To miss that window means to wait until 2022 for the next chance. Endurance may start as late as mid-August.

United Arab Emirates successfully sent by its Hope probe on July 19, and China launched its own orbiter and rover on July 22nd. All three missions are scheduled to reach Mars in February 2021.


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