A United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket with NASA’s Mars 2020 Perseverance rover onboard launches from Space Launch Complex 41, Thursday, July 30, 2020, at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida. The Perseverance rover is part of NASA’s Mars Exploration Program, a long-term effort of robotic exploration of the Red Planet. Image Credit: NASA

NASA’s Mars 2020 Perseverance rover mission is making its way, in search of signs of ancient life and collects samples to send back to Earth. It is the most sophisticated rover launched with the Ingenuity Mars Helicopter on a ULA (United Launch Alliance). The NASA administrator stated that it will create another historic mission of exploration in these challenging times. He is hoping that this mission will bring samples of Mars, which will be preserved forever.

The ULA Atlas V’s Centaur upper stage was initially placed on the Mars 2020 spacecraft into a parking orbit around Earth. Navigation data will indicate the spacecraft if it is perfectly on course to Mars. It sent its first signal with telemetry to ground controllers via NASA’s Deep Space Network received from Mars 2020. The data indicated the spacecraft’s safe mode. The temperatures were done nominal and the spacecraft is now out of Earth’s shadow.

The Martian rock and dust Perseverance’s Sample catching system will collect answers to fundamental questions about the potential for life to exist. The two future missions currently under consideration by NASA, in collaboration with ESA (European Space Agency), will work together to get the samples to an orbiter for return to Earth which will go into deep- analysis.

An interplanetary launch is fast-paced and dynamic, so a spacecraft is designed to put itself in safe mode if its onboard computer perceives conditions which are not within its preset parameters. The Mars 2020 mission is completing a full health assessment on the spacecraft and is working to return the spacecraft to a nominal configuration for its journey to Mars. The astrobiological mission is to seek out signs of past microscopic life on Mars, explore the diverse geology of its landing site. Thomas Zurbuchen, associate administrator for NASA’s Science Mission Directorate at the agency’s headquarters in Washington stated that Jezero Crater and demonstrate key technologies that will help prepare for future robotic and human exploration.

Excluding from the seven geared instruments the Perseverance’s will be equipped with Moxie to analyze if it could provide breathable air to mars. Michael Watkins, director of NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Southern California stated that it will be the most capable rover in history because it is standing on the shoulders of our pioneers Sojourner, Spirit, Opportunity, and Curiosity. JPL, which is managed for NASA by Caltech in Pasadena, California, will build and manage operations of the Mars Perseverance rover. While NASA’s Launch Services Program, based at the agency’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida, is responsible for launch management, and ULA provided the Atlas V rocket.