Jul 30, 2020

Nasa Mars rover: Perseverance robot poised for launch

Lift-off of Perseverance on a United Launch Alliance Atlas rocket is timed for the start of a two-hour window that opens at 07:50 local time. At first glance, Perseverance looks to be a copy of the Curiosity robot Nasa sent to Mars' Gale Crater in 2012. Expect some remarkable new imagery from the 23 cameras on the vehicle - and sound, because the Perseverance mission carries microphones as well. Even if Perseverance stumbles across rocks that appear to have been fashioned by some ancient Martian biology, it will almost certainly require confirmation by analytical instruments on Earth that are far superior to the miniaturised versions carried on the rover. Nasa and Esa estimate the total cost of getting samples back to Earth, including the $2.7bn cost of Perseverance, will come to at least $7bn.An illustrated guide to Mars Sample Return.

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