Mars 2020 Mission Launch Is On Schedule Written 18 June 2020


Artist’s concept of the Mars Helicopter, a small, autonomous rotorcraft, slated to launch on NASA's Mars 2020 rover mission in July 2020. | NASA/JPL-Caltech

Space News reports that the Mars 2020 mission is scheduled to launch aboard a United Launch Alliance Atlas 5 rocket on July 20 from Cape Canaveral. Processing of the rover “is on schedule, project officials said during a June 17 online briefing about the mission. The spacecraft will soon be encapsulated inside the rocket’s payload fairing, and then transported to the Atlas 5 Vertical Integration Facility to be installed on top of the rocket.” The launch window for the mission will close August 11 – although there is a “possibility the window could be extended to as late as” August 15 – and if it is unable to launch this summer, it would have to wait for a new window in 26 months. Deputy Project Manager for Mars 2020 Mark Wallace “said the length of the overall launch period...should be more than sufficient to accommodate any last-minute issues.”
Full Story (Space News)