Kremer — SpaceUpClose.com &
RocketSTEM – 14 June 2019
CAPE CANAVERAL, FL – Assembly of NASA’s Mars 2020 rover continues to make great
progress towards liftoff next summer as the robots science Mast and mobility wheels
were installed this past week by engineers at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in Pasadena, California.
Working in the Spacecraft Assembly Facility’s High Bay 1 clean room at JPL
engineers attached the remote sensing mast on June 5, 2019.
They snapped a selfie
with the rover and the mast moments later – see lead image.
week until June 11 to fully integrate the mast with the rover, ‘a process that
includes installation of science instrument sensors, electrical wiring and
The mast is equipped
with multiple cameras and science instruments including the SuperCam, Mastcam-Z
and Mars Environmental Dynamics Analyzer instruments as well as four Navcam
engineering cameras or navcams.
The top of the mast
reaches a height of just over 7 feet, or 2.2 meters.
Just like sister rover
Curiosity – which is still operating on Mars – the mast will fly in a stowed
configuration flat on the rover deck during the interplanetary trip to Mars.
2020 rover with 6 wheels attached. Credit: NASA JPL webcam
The six wheels were installed
on June 13.
And don’t forget that NASA is inviting the
public to send their name along for the journey that begins with blastoff of
the ‘2020 Rover’ in July 2020.
From now until Sept. 30, you can send your name to
Mars by adding it to a chip to be loaded on board for the journey.
pass to Mars here:
up to place their names on the chips as of today, June 12.
I was fortunate to visit with Curiosity in
the KSC clean room back in 2011, 3 weeks before liftoff. A memory I’ll always cherish !
The 1 ton rover (2,300 pounds, 1,000 kilograms) is nearly a copy of the NASA’s
Curiosity Mars Science Lab rover still operating on Mars – but with a completely
new suite of science instruments and cameras as well as the 1st Mars
The Mars 2020 rover will launch on a United
Launch Alliance (ULA) Atlas V rocket from Space Launch Complex 41 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station,
The launch window opens in July 2020
It is being targeted to touch down at Jezero
Crater on Feb. 18, 2021.
Mars 2020 will search for signs of past
microbial life, characterize the planet’s climate and geology, collect samples
for future return to Earth, and pave the way for human exploration of the Red
Watch for Ken’s continuing
onsite coverage of NASA, SpaceX, ULA, Boeing, Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman
and more space and mission reports direct from the Kennedy Space Center, Cape
Canaveral Air Force Station, Florida and Wallops Flight Facility, Virginia.
Stay tuned here for Ken’s continuing Earth and
Planetary science and human spaceflight news: www.kenkremer.com –www.spaceupclose.com – twitter @ken_kremer
– email: ken at kenkremer.com
Dr. Kremer is a research scientist and journalist based in the
KSC area, active in outreach and interviewed regularly on TV and radio about
Ken’s photos are for sale and he is available for lectures and outreach events