Following an eight-day delay NASA is set to launch the Perseverance rover at 7:50 AM ET today. The lander, orbiter and rover will launch aboard United Launch Alliance’s highly reliable Atlas V rocket to kick off what should be a very exciting mission. The original launch, scheduled for July 22nd, had to be scrubbed due to a balky liquid oxygen sensor. You’ll be able to watch the launch live on NASA’s site at nasa.gov/live
The relatively complicated mission will use a rover, lander and orbiter to examine the geological history of Mars. The 10-foot long Perseverance rover is the heaviest NASA has built, and will contain numerous scientific instruments to examine the atmosphere, geology, organic compounds and more. It will also be the first to pack a helicopter that can take to the skies above Mars. With all that packed in to the ULA rocket, the launch should be quite a barnburner — if all goes well, it’ll arrive at Mars in February of 2021.