NASA experts have combined fairing, which houses the Rover “Perseverance” and the drone, with the main section of the launch vehicle Atlas V 541. Thus, all basic operations on preparation for launch of a new research mission “Mars-2020” completed, reported on the website NASA.
The mission “Mars-2020” is part of the
a broader program that includes manned flights to the moon
as a way of preparing to study the red planet. Main objectives of the programme will be executed by the Rover “Perseverance”, which
try to find signs of existence of ancient microbial life forms,
collect soil samples in sealed vials, which are then delivered to the Earth in the framework of the project MSR (Mars Sample Return Mission). Also, the Rover explores the climate and properties of dust storms on the planet and will test a technology to produce oxygen from the Martian atmosphere and to Mars will take the microchip recorded on it the names of people and a plaque in honor of the doctors of the Earth. In addition to the Rover on Mars will operate the first ever unmanned helicopter “Ingenuity”, which will conduct reconnaissance and photography of the area.
At the end of June 2020 Rover along with a drone and planting system uploaded under the head fairing of the launch vehicle Atlas V 541. July 7, fairing payload was delivered to the vertical Assembly building at launch complex SLC-41 U.S. air force base at Cape Canaveral, after which it is lifted by crane and installed on the rocket, securing and connecting all electrical circuits. In the near future will be conducted final tests of the missile parts and two days before the start it will be taken to the launch pad.
The start was already postponed several times, currently the launch is scheduled for 11-50 GMT 30 Jul 2020. In the event of a problem it can be moved to any other day, until August 15, is postponed until 2022. If the launch will take place in time, the landing of the Rover and the drone to Mars to be held on 18 February 2021.
Currently on the red planet there is only one Mars Rover — “Curiosity”. On how to operate the “drivers” of this sophisticated 900-pound machine being a million miles from our planet, we can learn from our material “How to drive a Rover”.