The excitement is brewing as NASA’s newest Mars 2020 rover, Perseverance is on the launch pad and ready to head for Mars very soon! As per NASA, the launch is targeted for 7:50 a.m. EDT Thursday, on a United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket from Space Launch Complex 41 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida. (5.20 pm IST in India) Also Read - Tianwen-1, China's First Ever Mars Mission, Captures Pic of Earth & Moon About 1.2 Million km From Our Planet
The launch will, however, depend on weather and technical factors as it was previously delayed from earlier in the month because of technical issues.
Perseverance is NASA’s latest Red Planet rover, designed to search for astrobiological evidence of ancient microbial life on Mars. Following a seven-month journey, it will land at Jezero Crater on Feb. 18, 2021, and will gather rock and soil samples for a future return to Earth.
Amping our excitement and curiosity further, NASA is now giving latest updates about the launch with #CountdownToMars. Twitter, too shared an adorable GIF.
You can follow the live NASA countdown here.
Meanwhile, the United Arab Emirates also successfully sent off its Hope probe on 19 July and China launched its own orbiter and rover on 22 July.