Mars 2020/Perseverance Key Facts

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Mission Name: Mars 2020

Rover Name: Perseverance

Main Job: The Mars 2020/Perseverance rover is designed to better understand the geology of Mars and seek signs of ancient life. The mission will collect and store a set of rock and soil samples that could be returned to Earth in the future. It will also test new technology to benefit future robotic and human exploration of Mars.

Launch: July 30, 2020

Landing: Feb. 18, 2021

Landing Site: Jezero Crater, Mars
Tech Demo: The Mars Helicopter is a technology demonstration, hitching a ride on the Perseverance rover.

Key Objectives

  • Explore a geologically diverse landing site
  • Assess ancient habitability
    Seek signs of ancient life, particularly in special rocks known to preserve signs of life over time
  • Gather rock and soil samples that could be returned to Earth by a future NASA mission
  • Demonstrate technology for future robotic and human exploration

Mission Timeline

  • Launch in July-August 2020 from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Florida
  • Launching on a ULA Atlas 541 procured under NASA’s Launch Services Program
  • Land on Mars on February 18, 2021 at the site of an ancient river delta in a lake that once filled Jezero Crater
  • Spend at least one Mars year (two Earth years) exploring the landing site region.


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