NASA’s Mars Mission 2020

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Perseverance launched on July 30, 2020, kicking off a months-long journey through space.

It soared into the sky from the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida at 7:50am EDT (1150 GMT) under clear, sunny and warm conditions, carried by an Atlas 5 rocket from the Boeing-Lockheed joint venture United Launch Alliance.

When a vessel enters safe mode, it shuts down all but essential system until it receives new commands from mission control.

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The complicated route to the Mars Sample Return mission involves NASA collaborating with the European Space Agency and global partners.

The latest Mars mission, the Perseverance Rover, was launched on July 30 from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in the U.S., with 10.9 million names aboard.

"All temperatures are now nominal and the spacecraft is out of Earth's shadow", was the message it sent, according to a NASA press release. The spacecraft was apparently too close to NASA's Deep Space Network - a system of ground-based antennas created to communicate to deep space - causing a signal saturation at the ground receivers, which prevented proper receipt of the telemetry data, according to NASA.

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Perseverance is due to land at the base of an 820-foot-deep (250 meters) crater called Jezero, site of a former lake and water system from 3.5 billion years ago that scientists suspect could bear evidence of potential past microbial life.

Once the samples are on our home planet, scientists plan to conduct detailed chemical and physical analysis in laboratories around the world to look for signs of past life on Mars and perform many other studies beyond the capabilities of instruments delivered to Mars. Perseverance also will collect and store rock and soil samples meant to be returned to Earth in the future. The Mars Perseverance rover only has a short window of opportunity, and that was nearly missed due to the pandemic. But if there was ever a team that could make it happen, it is this one.

It is expected to land on the planet on February 18, 2021.

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The Perseverance forms part of NASA's Moon to Mars mission, which aims to have the first woman (and the next man) on the moon by 2024.

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