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Topic: Atlas V Rocket

NASA’s Mars 2020 Perseverance Rover Launches, on it’s way to Mars

 

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationWashington, D.C. – NASA’s Mars 2020 Perseverance rover mission is on its way to the Red Planet to search for signs of ancient life and collect samples to send back to Earth.

Humanity’s most sophisticated rover launched with the Ingenuity Mars Helicopter at 6:50am CT (4:50am PDT) Thursday on a United Launch Alliance (ULA) Atlas V rocket from Space Launch Complex 41 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida.

NASA's Mars 2020 Perseverance rover lifts off from Cape Canaveral on July 30, 2020. Also on the rocket provided by United Launch Alliance is the technology experiment Ingenuity Mars Helicopter. (NASA/KSC)

NASA’s Mars 2020 Perseverance rover lifts off from Cape Canaveral on July 30, 2020. Also on the rocket provided by United Launch Alliance is the technology experiment Ingenuity Mars Helicopter. (NASA/KSC)

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NASA’s Mars Perseverance Rover clears Flight Readiness Review

 

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationWashington, D.C. – NASA’s Mars 2020 Perseverance rover mission cleared its Flight Readiness Review Wednesday, an important milestone on its way to the launch pad.

The meeting was an opportunity for the Mars 2020 team and launch vehicle provider United Launch Alliance to report on the readiness of the spacecraft, along with the Atlas V rocket, flight and ground hardware, software, personnel, and procedures. The daily launch window on Thursday July 30th, 2020 opens at 6:50am CT.

The nose cone containing NASA's Mars 2020 Perseverance rover is maneuvered into place atop its Atlas V rocket. The image was taken at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida on July 7, 2020. (NASA/KSC)

The nose cone containing NASA’s Mars 2020 Perseverance rover is maneuvered into place atop its Atlas V rocket. The image was taken at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida on July 7, 2020. (NASA/KSC)

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NASA’s Mars Perseverance Rover has been loaded on Atlas V Rocket

 

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationPasadena, CA – NASA’s Perseverance Mars rover has been attached to the top of the rocket that will send it toward the Red Planet this summer. Encased in the nose cone that will protect it during launch, the rover and the rest of the Mars 2020 spacecraft – the aeroshell, cruise stage, and descent stage – were affixed to a United Launch Alliance Atlas V booster on Tuesday, July 7th, at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Central Florida.

The process began when a 60-ton hoist on the roof of the Vertical Integration Facility at Space Launch Complex 41 lifted the nose cone, otherwise known as the payload fairing, 129 feet (39 meters) to the top of the waiting rocket.

The nose cone containing the Mars 2020 Perseverance rover sits atop a motorized payload transporter at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida on July 7, 2020. (NASA/KSC)

The nose cone containing the Mars 2020 Perseverance rover sits atop a motorized payload transporter at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida on July 7, 2020. (NASA/KSC)

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NASA flies Mars Perseverance Rover to Florida to prepare for Launch

 

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationPasadena, CA – Progress continues to speed along as NASA’s Perseverance rover readies for its launch this summer. On May 11th, the rover team at the agency’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida received the tubes tasked with holding the first samples collected at Mars for eventual return to Earth.

A week later, the Atlas V launch vehicle that will hurl Perseverance to the Red Planet arrived at the launch site. Working together, personnel from NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Southern California and United Launch Alliance in Centennial, Colorado, were also able to extend the rover’s launch period by six days, from July 17th-August 5th to July 17th-August 11th.

Some of the nearly 5,000 pounds (2,270 kilograms) of Perseverance mission flight hardware, test gear and equipment delivered to Kennedy Space Center on May 11, 2020, is unloaded from a NASA Wallops C-130. (NASA)

Some of the nearly 5,000 pounds (2,270 kilograms) of Perseverance mission flight hardware, test gear and equipment delivered to Kennedy Space Center on May 11, 2020, is unloaded from a NASA Wallops C-130. (NASA)

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NASA puts Wheels, Air Brakes on Perseverance Mars Rover

 

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationPasadena, CA – Final assembly and testing of NASA’s Mars Perseverance Rover continues at Kennedy Space Center in Florida as the July launch window approaches. In some of the last steps required prior to stacking the spacecraft components in the configuration they’ll be in atop the Atlas V rocket, the rover’s wheels and parachute have been installed.

Perseverance received its six flight wheels on March 30th, 2020. While the rover took a test drive last December, it was on “flight spares” that wouldn’t be making the trip to Mars.

Three of the six flight wheels that will travel to Mars can be seen attached to NASA's Perseverance rover (which is inverted on a handling fixture) on March 30, 2020 at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida. The protective antistatic foil covering the wheels will be removed before launch this summer. (NASA/JPL-Caltech)

Three of the six flight wheels that will travel to Mars can be seen attached to NASA’s Perseverance rover (which is inverted on a handling fixture) on March 30, 2020 at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida. The protective antistatic foil covering the wheels will be removed before launch this summer. (NASA/JPL-Caltech)

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NASA’s InSight lander on it’s way to Mars

 

NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationPasadena, CA – NASA’s InSight lander has made its first course correction toward Mars.

InSight, short for Interior Exploration using Seismic Investigations, Geodesy and Heat Transport, is the first mission dedicated to exploring the deep interior of Mars.

The lander is currently encapsulated in a protective aeroshell, which launched on top of an Atlas V 401 rocket on May 5th, 2018 from Vandenberg Air Force Base in Central California.

NASA's InSight spacecraft is currently cruising to Mars. Yesterday, it performed its first course correction guiding it to the Red Planet. (NASA/JPL-Caltech)

NASA’s InSight spacecraft is currently cruising to Mars. Yesterday, it performed its first course correction guiding it to the Red Planet. (NASA/JPL-Caltech)

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NASA’s Mars 2020 mission rover begins test and launch operations development phase

 

NASA Headquarters

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationWashington, D.C. – NASA’s Mars 2020 mission has begun the assembly, test and launch operations (ATLO) phase of its development, on track for a July 2020 launch to Mars.

The first planned ATLO activities will involve electrical integration of flight hardware into the mission’s descent stage. The Mars 2020 rover, as well as its cruise stage, aeroshell and descent stage — a rocket-powered “sky crane” that will lower the rover to the planet’s surface — will undergo final assembly at the Spacecraft Assembly Facility High Bay 1 at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California.

A technician works on the descent stage for NASA's Mars 2020 mission inside JPL's Spacecraft Assembly Facility. Mars 2020 is slated to carry NASA's next Mars rover to the Red Planet in July of 2020. (NASA/JPL-Caltech)

A technician works on the descent stage for NASA’s Mars 2020 mission inside JPL’s Spacecraft Assembly Facility. Mars 2020 is slated to carry NASA’s next Mars rover to the Red Planet in July of 2020. (NASA/JPL-Caltech)

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NASA’S OSIRIS-REx Spacecraft uses Earth’s Gravity to Slingshot toward Asteroid Bennu

 

Written by Nancy Neal Jones
NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationGreenbelt, MD – NASA’s asteroid sample return spacecraft successfully used Earth’s gravity on Friday to slingshot itself on a path toward the asteroid Bennu, for a rendezvous next August.

At 12:52pm EDT on September 22nd, 2017 the OSIRIS-REx (Origins, Spectral Interpretation, Resource Identification, and Security – Regolith Explorer) spacecraft came within 10,711 miles (17,237 km) of Antarctica, just south of Cape Horn, Chile, before following a route north over the Pacific Ocean.

This artist's concept shows the OSIRIS-REx spacecraft passing by Earth. (NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center/University of Arizona)

This artist’s concept shows the OSIRIS-REx spacecraft passing by Earth. (NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center/University of Arizona)

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Three possible landing sites selected for NASA’s 2020 Mars Rover

 

Written by DC Agle
NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationPasadena, CA – Participants in a landing site workshop for NASA’s upcoming Mars 2020 mission have recommended three locations on the Red Planet for further evaluation.

The three potential landing sites for NASA’s next Mars rover include Northeast Syrtis (a very ancient portion of Mars’ surface), Jezero crater, (once home to an ancient Martian lake), and Columbia Hills (potentially home to an ancient hot spring, explored by NASA’s Spirit rover).

Three potential landing sites for NASA's next Mars rover. (NASA)

Three potential landing sites for NASA’s next Mars rover. (NASA)

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NASA reports Cygnus spacecraft set to launch December 3rd

 

Written by Steven Siceloff
NASA’s Kennedy Space Center

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationKennedy Space Center, FL – The first flight of Orbital ATK’s enhanced Cygnus spacecraft will carry more than 7,000 pounds of equipment and experiments to the International Space Station on a mission that marks the resumption of NASA’s commercial resupply efforts.

Standing inside the Payload Hazardous Servicing Facility at Kennedy Space Center in Florida, the 20.5-foot-tall, cylindrical Cygnus has been loaded for flight and will soon be bolted inside a protective fairing for its targeted launch date of December 3rd.

“This is an exciting time; the Cygnus launch will resume regular U.S.-based cargo missions to the station,” said Randy Gordon, Launch Support Project manager for NASA.

Dan Tani, a former space station astronaut and now Orbital ATK's senior director of Mission and Cargo Operations, discusses the Cygnus mission to the station with news media before the spacecraft is enclosed in a protective fairing. (NASA/Dmitri Gerondidakis)

Dan Tani, a former space station astronaut and now Orbital ATK’s senior director of Mission and Cargo Operations, discusses the Cygnus mission to the station with news media before the spacecraft is enclosed in a protective fairing. (NASA/Dmitri Gerondidakis)

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