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Space & Astronomy

NASA's new Mars rover successfully launches

By T.K. Randall
July 30, 2020 · Comment icon 9 comments

The launch went very smoothly. Image Credit: NASA
The ambitious new rover, which will look for signs of life on Mars, is now on its way to the Red Planet.
As the sun rose over Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida this morning, the Perseverance rover - which sat atop an Atlas V rocket - soared into the heavens in spectacular fashion.

After a journey spanning almost 300 million miles, it will touch down on Mars in February of next year.

Intended as a follow-up to the space agency's long-lived Curiosity rover which has been trundling around on Mars since 2012, Perseverance looks very similar to its predecessor.
Inside however, it has been equipped with several new additions including a helicopter drone and new scientific instruments designed to search for evidence that Mars was habitable in the distant past.

The rover will also be tasked with collecting samples of soil and leaving them in special caches for a future rover to come and retrieve as part of an ambitious sample-return mission.

Once it reaches Mars we can expect to see a plethora of photographs from its array of 23 cameras and even audio samples, as it has also been equipped with microphones.

"We hope to capture some of the sounds of entry, descent and landing; and some of the sounds of driving around, merging that with the video we can take," said Perseverance team member Jim Bell.

You can check out the full launch broadcast below (for the actual launch skip to 48:00).

Source: BBC News | Comments (9)

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Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #1 Posted by docyabut2 4 years ago
cool they are sending more rovers to Mars
Comment icon #2 Posted by qxcontinuum 4 years ago
Was It upgraded to a 2 megapixels photo camera?
Comment icon #3 Posted by Waspie_Dwarf 4 years ago
Exactly which camera are you talking about? Curiosity has 17 cameras, Perseverance has 23. Why would it be "upgraded" to 2 megapixel when Curiosity already has a 2 megapixel science camera? In fact several of the cameras on Perseverance have around 20 megapixel capability
Comment icon #4 Posted by qxcontinuum 4 years ago
Because nasa is always using 20 - 30 years older vintage tehnology, yeah i know: must be radiaton proof and all that ... i see however that perseverence is having a 20 mega pixels ... very good!
Comment icon #5 Posted by Waspie_Dwarf 4 years ago
Total and utter rubbish. Your posts clearly prove that you don't have a clue what technology NASA uses.
Comment icon #6 Posted by qxcontinuum 4 years ago
I actualy do, all the info is made public and everyoane can review it. Between curiosity's heavily crticised ancient technology and perseverence there is now a noticeable gap, I am gladd to see Nasa steping up to align European, Chinese and Japanese tehnology thought they are awfully behind. 
Comment icon #7 Posted by Emma_Acid 4 years ago
There are many reasons Nasa used a 2mp camera for Curiosity: data transmission limitations, the fact that as nothing really moves on Mars you don't need anything higher to capture panoramas; the fact that it has other bits of imaging equipment etc. But the main reason they use "20 year old technology" is that the Curiosity mission is 20 years old. You can't just switch and swap bits of tech over the lifetime of a project like it's made of lego. If its planned and budgeted to be a 2mp camera in 2004 when the project starts, and there is no real reason to change that over the lifetime of the... [More]
Comment icon #8 Posted by Waspie_Dwarf 4 years ago
Really? If you knew that Curiosity has a 2 megapixel camera and that Perseverance has 20 megapixel camera then you must have been lying when you said this:   If you didn't know that then you must have been lying when you said this: It is impossible for you to be telling the truth in both of those posts, so which one were you lying in? As for this: More meaningless nonsense. How can NASA Mars rover technology be catching up with Europe, China and Japan when only NASA has successfully landed on Mars? You make your self look foolish with your anti-NASA posts as they are always factually incorre... [More]
Comment icon #9 Posted by Waspie_Dwarf 4 years ago
Since Japan currently has no plans for a Mars rover that is just nonsense we can ignore.  China is rather secretive about the scientific payload on the rover portion of the Tianwen-1 mission and I have not yet been able to find the resolution of the cameras it has. That leaves the European Rosalind Franklin rover. That is still sitting on Earth because ESA could not sort out problems with its parachutes in time to make the launch window. It will now launch in 2022, that's 2 years after Perseverance and 11 years after Curiosity. The highest resolution camera on board Rosalind Franklin is the ... [More]

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