NASA said Monday that it plans to hold a large live briefing this week on its “Smanve” (Mars 2020) probe and related missions. The briefing, which will take place on June 17, will be attended by a number of experts and officials, including NASA Director Jim Bridenstine and NASA’s Planetary Science Director Lori Glaze.
The Perseverance rover, NASA’s latest rover, which is planned to find life on the Red Planet, will carry some Mars-exploring instruments, as it did before, but it will also bring some new equipment. NASA, for example, will send an experimental helicopter with Perseverance to see how it handles a flight on Mars.
The rover, which weighs 2,300 pounds, will be tasked with helping researchers find evidence of past microbial life on Mars. Among them, Perseverance will use its instruments to collect soil and rock samples, wrap them in tubes, and leave them in a place on Mars, where future missions will bring them back to Earth.
In Monday’s announcement, NASA said it would hold a special briefing on the rover on Wednesday, June 17 at 2 p.m. EST at 11 a.m. Pacific Time. It’s unclear exactly what NASA plans for the briefing, but it did mention that it will “preview” the upcoming mission during the meeting.
The public will be able to watch the briefing live from a number of platforms, including NASA TV, NASA,900, YouTube, Facebook, Twitter and Ustream. The space agency is still expected to launch the Stounma from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station at 9:15 a.m. EST on July 20. Assuming all goes according to plan, the probe will arrive on Mars on February 18, 2021.