It was another exciting day for Space Exploration! on July 30, 2020 at 7:50 a.m., United Launch Alliance (ULA) and NASA teams from all over the United States collaborated to ensure the Mars Rover, Perseverance, successfully left Earth.
ULA and its legacy rockets have launched every U.S. led mission to Mars, beginning in the 1960s. The launch of this mission marks ULA’s 20th trip to the red planet and the 85th successful launch of an Atlas V rocket.
The Atlas V has previously launched four missions to Mars, including the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter in 2005, the Curiosity rover in 2011, the MAVEN orbiter in 2013 and the InSight lander in 2018.
“Thank you to the ULA team and our NASA mission partners for diligently working through an ever-changing environment to successfully launch this historic mission,” said Gary Wentz, ULA vice president of Government and Commercial Programs. “The complexity of the Mars 2020 mission proves ULA’s acceptance of the most challenging launch requirements and we work together with NASA to achieve them. Our guidance accuracy for interplanetary missions is unmatched, and the Atlas V is the only vehicle certified to launch payloads with nuclear power sources.”
Perseverance will arrive to Mars on February 18, 2021 and is primarily traveling to seek signs of ancient life and collect samples such as rock and soil, to hopefully bring back to Earth. The mission will last one Mars year which surprisingly is about two Earth years! The Rover is also equipped with a helicopter named, Ingenuity that looks like a large drone to assist with exploration further.
For more information on ULA and to follow the Mars mission, visit the ULA website at www.ulalaunch.com,