In an update to its Mars Perseverance Rover, NASA said that despite the pandemic, it’s still on the right track to launch the machine this summer. Social distancing efforts have forced many people to work from home, but that hasn’t stopped some teams from continuing their efforts, and that includes many endurance experts. If everything goes as planned, the rover will reach Mars in early 2021.
Persistence is NASA’s newest Mars rover designed to look for evidence of a potentially habitable landscape that existed in the planet’s distant past. NASA will also use this rover and its instruments to look for evidence of past microbial life on the Red Planet.
The unexpected global pandemic has delayed a number of space projects and efforts, but persistence is not one of them. In an announcement earlier this week, NASA announced that its team had done a significant amount of work in April and that the rover is still on track to be launched this summer. If everything goes as expected, Perseverance will start in July.
NASA outlined its team̵
The Perseverance team also attached the Mars helicopter vehicle to the rover’s belly. It will eventually be used as an experiment on Mars in and of itself, allowing researchers to perform flights on the Red Planet – if the helicopter works as expected. The rover is launched with a United Launch Alliance Atlas V 541 rocket.