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NASA to launch Mars 2020 Perseverance rover this week

July 29, 2020

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An artist's concept of the Mars 2020 Perseverance on the Red  Planet 

At 7:50 a.m. EDT Thursday, July 30, NASA will launch its Mars 2020 Perseverance rover from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station's Space Launch Complex 41 in Florida to start its almost seven-month journey to the Red Planet. The rover will be aboard a United Launch Alliance Atlas V 541 rocket.

Perseverance will reach Mars on Feb. 18, 2021, touching down on the surface of Jezero Crater, located on the western edge of Isidis Planitia, a giant impact basin just north of the Martian equator. NASA describes the rover as a "robotic astrobiologist and scientist" that will "search for signs that microbes might have lived on Mars long ago, collect soil samples to be returned to Earth on a future mission and pave the way for human exploration beyond the Moon." 

Also joining Perseverance on the mission is a helicopter called Ingenuity, which will make the first attempt at powered flight on another world.

To register to let NASA know you'll be watching the #CountdownToMars Perseverance launch online, GO HERE. Read more about how to participate virtually on NASA's social channels HERE.

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