This week we expect to see the launch of NASA’s latest mission to Mars! The launch is scheduled for the morning of July 30; see the countdown at undefined . The lander is expected to then touch down on Mars in February 2021.
This is an unusually complex mission, featuring two separate mobile units. The Perseverance rover is a heavier redesign of the previous Curiousity rover, with a similar plutonium-based radiothermal generator for power. In addition, Ingenuity is a new helicopter-style flying drone that is carried by the rover, with an array of sensors and cameras. This is an experimental model; if it works as anticipated more complex aerial units may be added to future missions.
Get ready to watch the launch Thursday, and keep your eyes on the sky!
Image credit: NASA