NASA’s Next Mars Rover GO For Launch Thursday From Cape Canaveral
NASA is set to launch a rover to Mars Thursday morning from Cape Canaveral. The two hour launch window opens at 7:50 a.m. EST.
The goal of NASA’s Mars Perseverance rover is to search for ancient signs of life on the red planet, and prepare samples for a future return mission to bring rocks and dirt back to Earth.
Perseverance is outfitted with high-tech cameras, lasers, spectrometers and sensors to help identify rock samples that could contain organic material. It also contains a radar system to peer beneath the rocky surface.
It’s also bringing a stow-away: An experimental helicopter named Ingenuity.
The rover is launching on a United Launch Alliance Atlas Five rocket from Cape Canaveral. Weather is favorable.
It will take about seven months to get to Mars, with a scheduled landing in February.
It’s the third mission launching to Mars this month following spacecraft from the United Arab Emirates and China.
Watch launch coverage starting at 7 a.m. on our Facebook page.
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