Mars 2020 Mission Has Been Cleared for Launch

The Mars 2020 mission by NASA has finally passed its last review before its launch, which is scheduled to take place on 30 July. The Mars 2020 mission is one that will start a very important effort to bring back samples from Mars on our planet.

Atlas 5 and Mars 2020

On 27 July, NASA has officially announced that the Mars 2020 mission has went through its launch readiness review, one that a lot of experts were nervous for. This finally confirms the fact that the mission, together with the Atlas 5 launch vehicle, will be launched on 30 July. The Atlas 5 is going to roll out on the pad at the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, located in Florida, on 28 July. It will then remain there for 2 days, until it launches towards Mars at 07:50 a.m. Eastern Time on 30 July.

Weather

Weather is believed to be nice and will allow the launch. During a briefing that will take place on 27 July at the Kennedy Space Center, the launch weather officer, Jessica Williams, explained at the U.S. Space Force’s 45th Space Wing, that there was about an 80% chance of acceptable weather for the launch attempt on 30 July. Should the launch slip by one day, the chance of launch increases to a more optimistic 90%.

Plan after Launch

Almost an hour after the United Launch Alliance Atlas 5 541 launches into space, the upper stage, Centaur, will release the spacecraft for the Mars 2020 mission. It will be placed on a trajectory bound towards Mars. The spaceship is thought to arrive at Mars on 18 February 2021 after a 6-months journey. The spacecraft is going to attempt to land in the Jezero Crater, which is a large crater on the planet that, at some point during the life of the planet, was a river delta.

Melanie J. Gullett
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