On July 1, according tomedia reports, NASA decided to delay the launch of its Perseverance Mars rover by a week because of a sudden problem with the launch vehicle. The launch is now likely to take place in Cape Canaveral, Florida, after July 30.
That brought the launch of The Perseverance closer to the end of its launch window, which runs from July 17 to August 11. Because both Mars and Earth rotate around the sun, with different cycles, and changing locations and distances between them, spacecraft are launched to Mars for a short period of time every two years, when their orbits are closest to Earth. NASA has delayed the launch several times, july 20 and July 22, because of problems with ground equipment supporting the launch. If NASA misses this summer’s launch, it will have to wait until 2022 to try again.
However, NASA announced Tuesday that the launch window for the Shipper will be extended for a few days until August 15. The mission team is analyzing whether the launch window can be extended again. Still, there is little time left for the probe to leave the ground.
NASA blamed the delay on a sudden problem in Atlas V, the “Persistent” carrier rocket, which was manufactured and operated by united launches companies (ULA). The company conducted a rocket test on June 22nd, filling the rocket with propellant and running all the programs to rehearse the actual launch. In that test, a series of sensors that monitor edifying liquid oxygen propellant levels sent back incorrect data, and the task force needed extra time to figure out what was wrong and needed to fix it as quickly as possible.
Preparations for the launch of Perseverance are challenging for NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory mission team due to the new crown outbreak. On March 12, the Jet Propulsion Laboratory mandated that everyone must work from home, and that the team must continue to work on vehicles while maintaining social distance, implementing new disinfection measures, and communicating remotely with other employees. All along, the moon rover has been shrouded in everyone as it approaches the launch window rapidly this summer.
Preparing for this summer’s launch has been a daunting process for nasa’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory mission team. On March 12, the Jet Propulsion Laboratory required almost everyone in the facility to work from home, but the task force had to continue working on the site while maintaining a safe social distance, developing new disinfection measures, and communicating remotely with other employees.
When Stowe launches, it will look for signs of life on Mars that may have existed billions of years ago. The probe is also equipped with tools to drill into Martian soil and unearth samples that will remain on the surface of the planet. NASA hopes to retrieve the samples in a second mission in the future and bring them back to Earth for scientists to study. The samples will help scientists better understand Mars’s past and whether it exists.