For SpaceUpClose.com & RocketSTEM
CAPE CANAVERAL, FL – NASA’s Mars 2020 Perseverance rover launch has been delayed to July 22 due to contaminations concerns as the final encapsulation process was underway at the Kennedy Space Center on Florida’s Space Coast.
“NASA and United Launch Alliance are now targeting Wednesday, July 22, for launch of the Mars 2020 mission due to a processing delay encountered during encapsulation activities of the spacecraft. Additional time was needed to resolve a contamination concern in the ground support lines in NASA’s Payload Hazardous Servicing Facility (PHSF),” NASA said in a blog post June 24.
“The spacecraft and vehicle remain healthy,” said NASA.
The Mars 2020 rover hardware is undergoing final processing and encapsulation inside the Atlas V nose cone payload fairing halves at the Payload Hazardous Servicing Facility (PHSF) at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center
The two day launch delay from July 20 to July 22 was announced by NASA this week just days after the joint NASA/United Launch Alliance (ULA) team successfully completed the practice countdown and fueling test – called a wet dress rehearsel or WDR – on June 22 with the Atlas V carrier rocket at Space Launch Complex-41 on Cape Canaveral Air Force Station.
Enjoy our eyewitness photos of the WDR test and read our story for complete details.
I observed vigorous venting of the second stage liquid oxygen or LOX during the fuel loading leading up to the WDR conclusion and after it was completed.
Boosters, birds and beachcombers with 2nd stage LOX venting at Playalinda Beach this afternoon as #ULA conducts Wet Dress Rehearsel #WDR on #AtlasV rocket for @NASAPersevere Mars Rover. Launch target July 20 #Pad41 pic.twitter.com/ZVDbjhaNCN
— Ken Kremer (@ken_kremer) June 22, 2020
The launch of the Mars 2020 mission on an Atlas V rocket from seaside Space Launch Complex-41 on Cape Canaveral Space Force Station is scheduled for 9:35 a.m. ET July 22 with a two-hour window.
The launch of the Mars 2020 mission on an Atlas V rocket from seaside Space Launch Complex-41 on Cape Canaveral Space Force Station is scheduled for 9:35 a.m. ET (1335 GMT) July 22 with a two-hour window.
NASA and ULA have only a three week long window to launch the Mars 2020 Perseverance rover that extends until August 11.
The rover then begins a seven-month-long interplanetary journey to the Red Planet where it will search for signs of life.
Inside the PHFS the Backshell-Powered Descent Vehicle and Entry Vehicle assemblies are now attached to Perseverance, says NASA.
“The cone-shaped backshell contains the parachute, and along with the mission’s heat shield, will provide protection for the rover and descent stage during entry into the Martian atmosphere.”
Perseverance is a robotic scientist weighing about 2,260 pounds (1,025 kilograms).
The rover is equipped with seven different scientific instruments and 25 cameras.
Scheduled to launch in July 2020, the Perseverance Mars 2020 mission will search for signs of past microbial life, characterize Mars’ climate and geology, collect samples for future return to Earth, and pave the way for human exploration of the Red Planet.
The car-sized Perseverance Mars 2020 rover is targeted for liftoff on 20 July 2020 aboard a United Launch Alliance (ULA) Atlas V 541 rocket from Space Launch Complex 41 on Cape Canaveral Air Force Station.
She is scheduled to touch down in an area of Mars known as Jezero Crater on Feb. 18, 2021. The crater is home to an ancient dried-up river delta.
The 1 ton rover 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 Helicopter.
Watch my live post ULA Atlas V WDR interview about Mars 2020 rover and more at the American Space Museum ‘Stay Curious’ daily weekday show on June 22, 2020
Watch Ken’s continuing reports about Mars 2020, Commercial Crew and Artemis for live reporting of upcoming and recent NASA, ULA and SpaceX launches including Demo-2, Starlink, X-37B, Solar Orbiter and more at the Kennedy Space Center and Cape Canaveral Space Force Station.
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 space topics.
Ken’s photos are for sale and he is available for lectures and outreach events
Ken has created hundreds of widely published Mars rover mosaics and lectures also about NASA’s Mars rovers
Ken’s upcoming outreach events:
Jun 29: 7 PM, Quality Inn Kennedy Space Center, Titusville, FL. “SpaceX GPS, Starlink and Demo-2 and NASA/ ULA Atlas V Mars 2020 rover and more launches” Free. In hotel lobby. Photos for sale