China Takes A Stunning Photo Of Earth And Moon From Mars Probe

Katie Ramirez
July 31, 2020

The launch went off on time at 7:50 a.m. despite a 4.2-magnitude natural disaster 20 minutes before liftoff that shook Southern California, the site of NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, which is overseeing the rover mission.

The latest Mars mission, the Perseverance Rover, was launched yesterday, July 30, from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in the United States, with 10.9 million names aboard.

A new vehicle sized robotic explorer rover named Perseverance was launched into orbit Thursday at 7:50 a.m. ET, together with a Chihuahua-sized helicopter called Ingenuity set to be the first aircraft to fly on another planet.

About an hour after launch, following a burn from the Centaur rocket stage, the spacecraft carrying the rover successfully separated, and is now heading towards the Red Planet.

It can not yet be said that the launch has been successful.

This photo provided by NASA, a United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket launches at Space Launch Complex 41 at the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Thursday, July 30, 2020, in Cape Canaveral, Fla.

Baez added it took a disciplined, focused and creative effort to allow the rover to launch during the first opportunity of the first launch window for Perseverance.

The journey to Mars will take seven months.

The rover will land in a 28-mile wide crater called the Jezero Crater north of the Martian equator, NASA said.

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NASA proved a robot could roam the Red Planet in 1997 with a rover the size of a microwave oven.

A Mars helicopter is also being transported with the rover.

Aboard Perseverance is a 1.8-kilogram autonomous helicopter named Ingenuity that is due to test powered flight on Mars for the first time.

NASA's next-generation Mars rover Perseverance is set for liftoff from Florida's Cape Canaveral on Thursday on a mission to search for traces of potential past life on Earth's planetary neighbour. If it works, future Mars-bound astronauts could use a larger version of MOXIE to generate the oxygen they need to refuel for the trip back to Earth.

The liftoff of Perseverance is the third Mars exploration of the worldwide community this year following China's first Mars mission, Tianwen-1, and the first Mars orbiter of the United Arab Emirates earlier this month.

In essence, Perseverance has phoned home to let NASA know it's officially on the way to Mars. China and the United Arab Emirates got a head start last week, but all three missions should reach their destination in February after a journey of seven months and 300 million miles (480 million kilometers). This issue will be resolved once the spacecraft moves further into space. Two future missions now under consideration by NASA, in collaboration with ESA (European Space Agency), will work together to get the samples to an orbiter for return to Earth.

The state from which the rover was launched, Florida, is now one of the hot spots in the United States for the coronavirus pandemic.

UK Minister for Science, Research and Innovation Amanda Solloway said: "UK scientists and researchers continue to play an indispensable role in the most impressive worldwide space missions, helping to further our understanding of our extraordinary Solar System". In an interview in 2016, the Gemini 12 and Apollo 11 astronaut told Fox News that by 2040, astronauts could visit Mars' moon Phobos, which could serve as a sort of stepping stone to the Red Planet.

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