After a long wait, NASA’s Mars 2020 Perseverance rover has finally lifted off aboard a United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket from Space Launch Complex 41 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida. The Mars Perseverance rover has been expected to land on Mars on February 18, 2021. Also Read - Journey to Mars: NASA's Perseverance Rover Set to Launch Today at 5:20 Pm | How to Watch it Live
The lift-off took place at 7.50 a.m. EDT, equivalent to 5.20 p.m. IST. Watch the video here:
The duration of the mission has been expected to be at least one Mars year which is 687 days on Earth. Mars 2020 is Nasa’s 9th mission there, at a cost of almost $3 billion!
Perseverance is designed to search for astrobiological evidence of ancient microbial life on Mars. Its job is also to seek signs of ancient life and collect rock and soil samples for a possible return to Earth. Further, it will demonstrate technology for future robotic and human exploration.
As per reports, the Mars Perseverance Rover is 10 feet long and weighs about 1,025 kilograms with a speed of about 0.1-miles per hour.
NASA administrator Jim Bridenstine said, “We know that we’re going to make discoveries with the Mars Perseverance rover that are going to make us ask a whole lot more questions, just like every previous discovery. This is unlike any robot that we’ve sent to Mars before because it has the purpose of astrobiology. We are trying to find evidence of ancient life on another world.”
Watch the live coverage of the event
The UAE and China also deployed their own Mars missions this very month.