The Launch Of The New NASA Rover Was Postponed To July 30
NASA postponed the launch of the Perseverance Rover from July 22 to July 30. The reason for the transfer, the Agency called problems during bench tests of the rocket in full Assembly with refueling with fuel components.
"The readings of the liquid oxygen sensor differed from the calculated ones, and additional time is needed to figure out what caused this," the agency writes. The launch window will be open until August 15.
At first, NASA planned to send the Rover to the Red Planet on July 17. But the start date was first moved to July 20, and then to July 22. The spacecraft is due to land in the Yezero crater on the equator of Mars in February 2021.
Earlier, NASA experts said that if the device fails to launch this summer, the mission will have to be postponed until the fall of 2022, since the minimum distance – about 56 million km – Earth and Mars come closer once every 26 months.
Search for traces of life
From a technical point of view, Perseverance will be almost a complete copy of the previous Rover, Curiosity. This made assembling the Rover much faster and cheaper (NASA estimates its cost at $2.46 billion). The main task of "Mars 2020" will not be to search for traces of freshwater reservoirs, like its predecessor, but to assess whether there was life on Mars in the past, and search for possible traces of life.
To do this, Mars 2020 will not only study the properties of sedimentary rock deposits but also collect their samples in a special "Cabinet." The minerals collected in this way will be returned to Earth by a special joint mission of the European Space Agency (ESA) and NASA, which will be sent to the red planet no earlier than 2026.