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Perseverance (Mars 2020 rover) -- Atlas V 541 -- Canaveral -- июль 2020

Автор che wi, 31.07.2014 20:22:45

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pkl

ЦитатаСтарый написал:
 Ну "Преферанс"же выговариваешь?  
На Преферанс непохоже. :oops: 
Вообще, исследовать солнечную систему автоматами - это примерно то же самое, что посылать робота вместо себя в фитнес, качаться.Зомби. Просто Зомби (с)
Выход из колыбели В БУДУЩЕМ может возникнуть только в случае конфликта цивилизаций. А. Семёнов (с)

Старый

Цитатаpkl написал:
 
ЦитатаСтарый написал:
 Ну "Преферанс"же выговариваешь?  
На Преферанс непохоже.  
"Фе" вместо "ве" и дело в шляпе! :)
1. Ангара - единственный в истории мировой космонавтики случай когда новая ракета по всем параметрам хуже старой. (с) Старый Ламер
2. Всё что связано с Ангарой подчинено единственной задаче - выкачать из бюджета и распилить как можно больше денег.
3. Чем мрачнее реальность тем ярче бред.

pkl

Пусть будет Преферанс, а то моё название как то совсем уж не то... 8) 
Вообще, исследовать солнечную систему автоматами - это примерно то же самое, что посылать робота вместо себя в фитнес, качаться.Зомби. Просто Зомби (с)
Выход из колыбели В БУДУЩЕМ может возникнуть только в случае конфликта цивилизаций. А. Семёнов (с)

Старый

Когда долетит посмотрим - Преферанс он или Просеранс.

 Я буду болеть за Преферанс. :)
1. Ангара - единственный в истории мировой космонавтики случай когда новая ракета по всем параметрам хуже старой. (с) Старый Ламер
2. Всё что связано с Ангарой подчинено единственной задаче - выкачать из бюджета и распилить как можно больше денег.
3. Чем мрачнее реальность тем ярче бред.

aaa1

ЦитатаСтарый написал:
Когда долетит посмотрим - Преферанс он или Просеранс.

 Я буду болеть за Преферанс.
В русском языке Perseverance звучит как "пресуровый". Крутой, короче, дальше некуда.

tnt22

https://blogs.nasa.gov/mars2020/2020/05/07/perseverance-presses-on-remains-on-target-for-summer-launch/
https://blogs.nasa.gov/kennedy/2020/05/07/perseverance-presses-on-remains-on-target-for-summer-launch/
ЦитатаPerseverance Presses On, Remains Targeted for Summer Launch

James Cawley
Posted May 7, 2020 at 4:01 pm



Multiple milestones have been reached recently with the Mars Perseverance rover at Kennedy Space Center in Florida. The aeroshell backshell was attached on April 29 and the rover was attached to its rocket-powered descent stage on April 23 inside the Payload Hazardous Servicing Facility. Photo credit: NASA/JPL

Testing on NASA's Mars Perseverance rover at Kennedy Space Center closed out April on an extremely high note.

The latest activities at the Florida spaceport included attaching the aeroshell backshell on April 29 and attaching the rover to its rocket-powered descent stage on April 23 inside the Payload Hazardous Servicing Facility. The rover and descent stage were the first spacecraft components to come together for launch -- and they will be the last to separate when the spacecraft reaches Mars on Feb. 18, 2021.

The backshell carries the parachute and several components that will be used during later stages of entry, descent and landing. The aeroshell will encapsulate and protect Perseverance and its descent stage during their deep space journey to Mars and during descent through the Martian atmosphere, which generates intense heat.

April saw other key rover milestones reached at Kennedy. On April 14, the descent stage -- fully loaded with 884 pounds of fuel (a hydrazine monopropellant) -- was rotated and spun on two separate measuring fixtures to pinpoint its center of gravity.  This will help ensure the descent stage remains stable while guiding Perseverance to a safe landing.


Perseverance remains on track for its targeted launch period, which opens in six weeks. Liftoff, aboard a ULA Atlas V 541 rocket, will be from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station. Photo credit: NASA/JPL

On April 6,  NASA's Mars Helicopter, recently named Ingenuity, was attached to the belly of the rover. Weighing less than four pounds, the twin-rotor, solar-powered helicopter will be released to perform the first in a series of flight tests that will take place during 30 Martian days (a day on Mars is about 40 minutes longer than a day on Earth). Ingenuity will become the first aircraft to fly on another world.

Thanks to the enduring efforts of NASA and United Launch Alliance (ULA) engineers, Perseverance remains on track for its targeted launch period, which opens in just six weeks. The rover will liftoff aboard a ULA Atlas V 541 rocket from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station. NASA's Launch Services Program based at Kennedy is managing the launch.

After the rover enters the thin Martian atmosphere, the descent stage will complete the slowing of Perseverance to less than two miles per hour. At about 65 feet over the Martian surface, the descent stage -- utilizing a tether of nylon cords -- will lower Perseverance to the surface of Jezero Crater. The rover will then sever the cords and the descent stage will fly away.

About the size of a car with dimensions similar to the Curiosity rover, Perseverance will carry seven different scientific instruments. Developed under NASA's Mars Exploration Program, the rover's astrobiology mission will search for signs of past microbial life. It will characterize the planet's climate and geology, collect samples for future return to Earth, and pave the way for human exploration of the Red Planet.

tnt22

https://spaceflightnow.com/2020/05/09/launch-preparations-continue-for-nasas-next-mars-rover/
ЦитатаLaunch preparations continue for NASA's next Mars rover
May 9, 2020 | Stephen Clark


NASA's Perseverance rover is seen underneath its back shell inside the Payload Hazardous Servicing Facility at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida on April 29. Credit: NASA JPL/Christian Mangano

On track for launch from Cape Canaveral in July, NASA's Perseverance rover has been secured to its rocket-powered descent stage and back shell, part of the protective shield that will safeguard the robot when it arrives at Mars next year.

The rover was attached to its descent stage April 23 inside the Payload Hazardous Servicing Facility at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida. The combined descent stage and rover stack was then stowed inside the mission's back shell, half of the aeroshell that will enclose the rover during its trip from Earth to Mars.

The integration milestones signal the start of putting the Perseverance rover into launch configuration. The mission's launch period opens July 17 and extends through Aug. 5.

"Attaching the rover to the descent stage is a major milestone for the team because these are the first spacecraft components to come together for launch, and they will be the last to separate when we reach Mars," said David Gruel, the Perseverance rover assembly, test, and launch operations manager at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in California, which manages rover operations. "These two assemblies will remain firmly nestled together until they are about 65 feet (20 meters) over the surface of Mars."

Three flight separation bolts connect the rover with its descent stage, which has eight hydrazine-fueled rocket thrusters to slow the craft's velocity just before landing. The three bolts will be released by pyrotechnic charges in the final stage of the mission's descent to the Martian surface, allowing a Nylon cord to unwind and lower the rover around 25 feet (7.6 meters) below the descent stage, according to NASA.

NASA calls the landing technique the "sky crane" maneuver. The same type of descent stage was successfully employed in the landing of NASA's Curiosity rover on Mars in August 2012.

"Once Perseverance senses it's on the surface, pyrotechnically-fired blades will sever the cords, and the descent stage flies off," NASA said in a statement. "The sky crane maneuver ensures Perseverance will land on the Martian surface free of any other spacecraft components, eliminating the need for a complex deployment procedure."


NASA's Perseverance rover is seen underneath its back shell inside the Payload Hazardous Servicing Facility at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida on April 29. Credit: NASA JPL/Christian Mangano

In the next few weeks, engineers and technicians working inside the pristine clean room at Kennedy will install sterilized tubes on the rover. The tubes will store Martian rock samples until a future mission can retrieve the specimens for return to Earth.

Then ground crews will attach the mission's 14.9-foot-wide (4.5-meter) ablative heat shield on the bottom of the back shell, cocooning the rover inside its aeroshell, which will protect the robot from scorching temperatures as it plunges into the Martian atmosphere. The aeroshell will then be attached to the mission's solar-powered cruise stage, the module that will fine-tune the rover's trajectory on the interplanetary journey to the Red Planet.

The circular cruise stage will jettison from the aeroshell just before entry into the Martian atmosphere. The mission's entry, descent and landing on Mars is fixed on Feb. 18, 2021, regardless of when it lifts off during this year's 20-day launch period.

Once through the hottest part of entry, the spacecraft will deploy a supersonic parachute, then release the heat shield on the bottom of the aeroshell. The rocket pack landing stage will then separate from the back shell to begin the powered descent phase before lowering the rover for touchdown.

The entire entry, descent and landing process will take around seven minutes from the time the spacecraft hits the upper reaches of the Martian atmosphere until the rover softly lands on the surface of Mars.

Before the rover can attempt the make-or-break landing on Mars, the mission has to safely launch from Earth.

Once the Mars-bound spacecraft is fully assembled in June, the team of JPL engineers working at Kennedy will hand over the vehicle to United Launch Alliance for encapsulation inside the payload fairing of its Atlas 5 rocket.


NASA's Perseverance rover is seen underneath its back shell inside the Payload Hazardous Servicing Facility at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida on April 29. Credit: NASA JPL/Christian Mangano

The spacecraft -- inside the Atlas 5's fairing -- will next be transported across the Cape Canaveral spaceport to ULA's Vertical Integration Facility at pad 41. A crane will hoist the payload on top of the Atlas 5 rocket inside the VIF for final electrical checkouts and an end-to-end integrated test before rolling out to the launch pad.

Also on tap in early July: The installation of the rover's plutonium power source. The nuclear-powered robot will be fitted with its radioisotope power generator inside ULA's vertical rocket hangar.

If the launch remains on track for July 17, the launch window that day opens at 9 a.m. EDT (1300 GMT).

The Perseverance rover is currently second in line on ULA's mission manifest after the planned launch of an Atlas 5 rocket May 16 with the U.S. Air Force's X-37B orbital spaceplane.

Once the X-37B mission takes off, ULA will begin stacking the Atlas 5 rocket for the Perseverance mission, formerly known as Mars 2020. The Atlas 5 assigned to launch the Mars rover will fly in the "541" configuration with a 5.4-meter-diameter (17.7-foot) payload fairing and four solid-fueled strap-on boosters.

NASA says ground teams are taking extra precautions as they prepare the Perseverance rover for launch during the coronavirus pandemic.

If the mission can't take off in July or August, the next opportunity to launch the rover will not be until September 2022, when the Earth and Mars are again properly aligned to make the interplanetary voyage possible. Such a delay could add up to $500 million to the mission's total cost, according to NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine.


NASA's Perseverance rover (bottom) is seen during attachment to the mission's rocket-powered descent stage (top) April 23 inside the Payload Hazardous Servicing Facility at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida. Credit: NASA JPL/Christian Mangano

While many members of the mission's software development, science, operations and planning teams have worked remotely over the last two months, around 80 mission-critical personnel have performed required final processing, testing and assembly steps on the spacecraft at the Kennedy Space Center.

The processing team traveled between their home base in Southern California and Florida's Space Coast on a NASA aircraft, minimizing their risk of exposure to the COVID-19 viral disease.

NASA identified the Perseverance mission as the top priority for the agency's science directorate, and top officials approved extra measures to ensure the rover could remain on schedule for launch.

Some team members who would have traveled to Kennedy to perform inspections of the rover were able to instead complete their work remotely, thanks to a live video connection through a smartphone.

In addition to its sample collection mission, the Perseverance rover carries a suite of science instruments and the first zoom-capable camera to travel to Mars. The instruments will gather information on soil and rock composition, and the presence of organic material, the building blocks of life.

A Norwegian-developed ground-penetrating radar on Perseverance will study the Red Planet's underground geologic structure. The instruments mounted inside the Perseverance rover's main body include MOXIE, which will demonstrate the production of oxygen from carbon dioxide in the atmosphere of Mars, a capability that future astronaut explorers could use.

The mission also carries a weather station and two microphones to record the sound of the rover's landing and Martian winds.

Another pioneering objective of the Perseverance mission will be the deployment of the first Mars Helicopter -- recently named Ingenuity by Alabama high school student Vaneeza Rupani -- to fly through the planet's thin atmosphere.

Carrying cameras and its own solar panel to produce electricity, the rotorcraft become the first vehicle of its kind to fly to another planet. Its mission is primarily a technology demonstration.

zandr

14.05.2020 23:09:33 #247 Последнее редактирование: 14.05.2020 23:10:09 от zandr
То же, в переводе:
https://nplus1.ru/news/2020/05/09/perseverance-launch-mode
ЦитатаМарсоход «Персеверанс» соединили с «Небесным краном»
Специалисты NASA объединили марсоход «Персеверанс» (Perseverance) будущей миссии «Марс-2020» с тормозной системой «Небесный кран» и задней оболочкой десантного модуля, задача которых заключается в безопасной доставке марсохода к поверхности Красной планеты. Запуск марсохода в космос состоится в период с 17 июля по 5 августа 2020 года, сообщается на сайте Лаборатории реактивного движения NASA.
В рамках новой исследовательской программы NASA «Марс-2020» 18 февраля 2021 года на Красной планете должен высадиться ровер, получивший имя «Персеверанс» («Настойчивость»), похожий по конструкции на действующий «Кьюриосити», но обладающий расширенным комплектом научных инструментов и камер. Марсоход будет искать в кратере Езеро, где в прошлом располагалась речная дельта, признаки существования жизненных форм в прошлом Марса, изучать геологию и климат, собирать пробы образов грунта для последующей доставки на Землю. Он сможет опробовать технологии, необходимые для будущих пилотируемых полетов к планете, такие как получение кислорода из марсианской атмосферы.
Все работы по сборке самого ровера уже завершены, ранее на него установили парашютную систему и беспилотный летательный аппарат Mars Helicopter. В начале апреля была произведена заправка топливом тормозной системы «Небесный кран», которая должна будет снизить скорость аппарата с 80 до 0,75 метра в секунду. Затем, когда система с ровером окажется на высоте 20 метров от поверхности Марса, сработают пироболты и выпустятся нейлоновые тросы, которые спустят ровер вниз. Как только марсоход встанет колесами на грунт, тросы будут разорваны и система отлетит на безопасное расстояние.
Работы по объединению ровера с тормозной системой начались 23 апреля 2020 года. 29 апреля они были прикреплены к конусообразной задней оболочке десантной ступени, которая включает в себя парашют и теплозащитный экран и обеспечит безопасное прохождение атмосферы на этапе высадки. Запуск марсохода в космос состоится в период с 17 июля по 5 августа 2020 года при помощи ракеты-носителя Atlas V 541 с базы ВВС США на мысе Канаверал.
Ожидается, что в середине 2022 года на планете начнет свою работу марсоход, названный в честь Розалинд Франклин и создаваемый в рамках совместного проекта Европейского космического агентства и «Роскосмоса» «ЭкзоМарс-2020».
Александр Войтюк

tnt22

Цитата Chris G - NSF‏ @ChrisG_NSF 40 мин. назад

Heads up Central Florida. The plane carrying what we believe to be the #AtlasV rocket for @NASAPersevere rover's launch to Mars this summer is inbound to the Cape.
@ulalaunch @torybruno




Stephen Clark‏ @StephenClark1 4 мин. назад

Another Atlas 5 first stage has arrived at Cape Canaveral, taking a rare ride on an Antonov cargo plane from Huntsville, Alabama, near ULA's factory in Decatur.

This rocket will be used to launch NASA's Perseverance Mars rover in July.


tnt22

Цитата NASA's Launch Services Program‏ @NASA_LSP 3 ч. назад

Less than 60 days from the opening of the launch window for @NASAPersevere and something BIG arrived to @45thSpaceWing today! Stay tuned to see what's on board

Launch is targeted between July 17 and Aug. 5 aboard a @ulalaunch Atlas V rocket: http://go.nasa.gov/2LDbGH4


tnt22

На сайте ULA открыта страница миссии

https://www.ulalaunch.com/missions/atlas-v-mars-2020
ЦитатаATLAS V TO LAUNCH PERSEVERANCE



• Rocket: Atlas V 541
• Mission:  NASA's Mars Perseverance Rover 
• Launch Date: Friday, July 17, 2020 at 9 a.m. EDT 
• Launch Location: Space Launch Complex-41, Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Florida

Mission Information: A United Launch Alliance Atlas V 541 rocket will launch NASA's Perseverance rover to Mars. The spacecraft will explore the Jezero Crater to study the planet's habitability, seek signs of past microbial life, collect and store samples of selected rock and soil and prepare for future human missions.

The rover also carries the Ingenuity helicopter, a technology demonstration to prove that powered flight can be achieved at Mars.

Launch Notes: The Perseverance launch will mark the 85th Atlas V mission since the inaugural launch in 2002 and the 7th in the 541 configuration. 

Launch Updates: To keep up to speed with updates to the launch countdown, dial the ULA launch hotline at 1-877-852-4321 or join the conversation at www.facebook.com/ulalaunch, twitter.com/ulalaunch and instagram.com/ulalaunch; hashtags #AtlasV and #Mars2020.

tnt22

ЦитатаShake, Rattle and Roll: Testing NASA's Mars 2020 Perseverance Rover

NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory

18 мая 2020 г.

NASA's Mars 2020 Perseverance rover lives up to its name by enduring a series of tests to prepare for its journey to the Red Planet. Tests for the mission were performed between September and December of 2019 at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Southern California.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_1aJra9Wu_Uhttps://www.youtube.com/embed/_1aJra9Wu_U (2:28)

tnt22

https://www.nasa.gov/feature/jpl/nasas-perseverance-rover-goes-through-trials-by-fire-ice-light-and-sound
ЦитатаMay 18, 2020

NASA's Perseverance Rover Goes Through Trials by Fire, Ice, Light and Sound


This animated GIF shows a successful test of the parachute that will be used to land NASA's Perseverance rover on Mars. The images were taken on Sept. 7, 2018, during the third and final flight of the Advanced Supersonic Parachute Inflation Research Experiment (ASPIRE) project.
Credits: NASA/JPL-Caltech


While auto manufacturers built over 92 million motor vehicles for this world in 2019, NASA built just one for Mars. The Perseverance Mars rover is one of a kind, and the testing required to get it ready to roll on the mean (and unpaved) streets of the Red Planet is one of a kind as well.

Because hardware cannot be repaired once the rover is on Mars, the team has to build a vehicle that can survive for years on a planet with punishing temperature shifts, constant radiation and ever-present dust. To ensure readiness, they put Perseverance through a test program tougher than the trip to Mars and the environment it will encounter once there.

"Mars is hard, and everybody knows that," said project manager John McNamee of NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Southern California. "What they may not realize is that to be successful at Mars, you have to test the absolute heck out of the thing here on Earth."

While the unique tests performed for the project number in the thousands, here's a handful that stand out.

The Sound and Fury

It is no secret that loud noises can be detrimental to your hearing. They can also be detrimental to a spacecraft, at least when they're at the level encountered atop the launch vehicle during liftoff. Those punishing decibels can actually cause parts and components to come loose.

Long before the rover was shipped to Kennedy Space Center in Florida in preparation for this summer's launch, engineers put it in a special chamber at JPL and, using nitrogen-charged speakers, blasted away at it with random waves of sound as high as about 143 decibels -- louder than what you'd encounter standing behind a roaring jet engine. On several occasions during the daylong acoustical test, they halted to inspect the rover and its surroundings, looking for anything that might have loosened, broken or fallen off. Some fasteners attaching spacecraft components had to be tightened and a few electrical cables replaced, but the mission team came away with increased confidence that while Perseverance will certainly be shaken during launch, nothing should stir.


The spacecraft that will carry NASA's Perseverance rover to Mars is examined prior to an acoustic test in the Environmental Test Facility at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Southern California. The image was taken on April 11, 2019.
Credits: NASA/JPL-Caltech


Oh, Chute

Ask any member of the Mars 2020 mission's entry, descent and landing team, and they'll tell you there's little point in traveling through 314 million miles (505 million kilometers) of interplanetary space if you can't stick the landing. At 70.5 feet (21.5 meters) in diameter, the rover's supersonic parachute has everything to do with making that happen. A lot of work goes into ensuring a chute deploys right and can do the job without shredding or getting tangled.

Perseverance's parachute is based on the design successfully flown by Mars Curiosity in 2012. However, since Perseverance is slightly heavier than Curiosity, engineers strengthened their parachute design. But how to be sure it will do what is expected of it? Test, test, test.

First, the team focused on verifying the chute would hold up under the strain of slowing a fast-moving spacecraft down in the Martian atmosphere. In the summer of 2017, they traveled to the National Full-Scale Aerodynamics Complex at NASA's Ames Research in California's Silicon Valley to observe trial chute deployments close up in a wind tunnel, checking workmanship and looking for any unexpected behavior.


In this June 2017 photo, the supersonic parachute design that will land NASA's Perseverance rover on Mars on Feb. 18, 2021, undergoes testing in a wind tunnel at NASA's Ames Research Center in California's Silicon Valley.
Credits: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Ames


More complex evaluations would come between March and September 2018. The team tested the chute three times in Mars-relevant conditions, using Black Brant IX sounding rockets launched fr om NASA's Wallops Flight Research Facility in Virginia. The final test flight, on Sept. 7, exposed the chute to a 67,000-pound (37,000-kilogram) load -- the highest ever survived by a supersonic parachute and about 85% higher than what the mission's chute is expected to encounter during deployment in Mars' atmosphere.

The team also tested the chute's deployment mortar. Perseverance's parachute is packed into an aluminum canister so tightly, it has the density of oak. The mortar is a cylindrical canister cradled atop the aeroshell, which encapsulates the rover. At the time of deployment, an explosive propellant at the base of the mortar will launch the carefully bundled array of nylon, Technora and Kevlar at just the right velocity and trajectory into the Martian slipstream.

Mortar deployment evaluations took place in the winter of 2019 at a test facility in central Washington. The temperature of the mortar canister during the first test synched closely with the ambient air temperature -- about 70 degrees Fahrenheit (21 degrees Celsius). The second and third were executed with the mortar chilled to minus 67 degrees Fahrenheit (minus 55 degrees Celsius) -- well below the temperature at which the mortar is expected to fire during the actual deployment at Mars (14 degrees Fahrenheit, or minus 10 degrees Centigrade). The mortar passed all three tests with flying colors.


This animated GIF shows a test of the mortar system that will be used on Feb. 18, 2021, to deploy the parachute for NASA's Perseverance rover. The test took place in November 2019 at a facility in central Washington.
Credits: NASA/JPL-Caltech


Running Hot and Cold

The Sun's rays heat a white-painted rover differently than they would, say, a Mars boulder. To better understand what temperature-sensitive instruments and subsystems will encounter, the team tested Perseverance's "thermal model." In October 2019, they placed the rover in JPL's 25-foot-wide, 85-foot-tall (8-meter-by-26-meter) vacuum chamber for a daylong test, wh ere powerful xenon lamps several floors below beamed upward, hitting a mirror at the top of the chamber to drench the spacecraft with light.

After the lamps warmed up and reached the same intensity of sunlight the rover will encounter at its landing site in Jezero Crater, an engineer climbed in and measured the "sunlight" reaching different portions of the rover. Data from the test was used to update the rover's thermal model, giving the team the assurance they needed to proceed with next step in ground-based cold testing.

Once the solar-intensity tests concluded, engineers closed the doors and evacuated the majority of the atmosphere in the chamber to simulate Mars' thin atmosphere, which has about 1% the atmospheric density of Earth. Then the chamber was chilled to minus 200 degrees Fahrenheit (minus 129 degrees Celsius), and for a weeklong subsystems check, they ran computer programs, raised the remote sensing mast and antennas, turned wheels, and deployed the Mars Helicopter to make sure the rover can handle even the coldest Martian nights.


This animated GIF shows the deployment of the Perseverance rover's remote sensing mast during a cold test in a space simulation chamber at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory. The test took place in October 2019.
Credits: NASA/JPL-Caltech


Camera Ready

The Mars 2020 mission is launching 25 cameras to the Red Planet, a record number for an interplanetary expedition. After installation, each camera bound for the Red Planet had to undergo an "eye" exam.

With a camera called WATSON, which is tasked with taking close-up pictures and (if needed) video of rock textures, project engineers recorded the scene as they danced and waved. The goal: to determine the imager's frame rate and exposure time, and the ability of its computer to hold and transfer the data.

For other imagers, the test was a little more formal and rigorous. The process is called machine-vision calibration and involves using target boards featuring grids to establish a baseline for a camera's optical performance. The result? The mission's vision was 2020.


In this image, engineers test cameras on the top of the mast and front chassis of NASA's Perseverance Mars rover. The image was taken on July 23, 2019, at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Southern California.
Credits: NASA/JPL-Caltech
Full image and caption


About the Mars 2020 Mission

Whether they are working on final assembly of the vehicle at Kennedy Space Center, testing software and subsystems at JPL, or (as the majority of the team is doing) teleworking due to coronavirus safety precautions, the Perseverance team remains on track to meet the opening of the rover's launch period. No matter what day Perseverance launches, it will land at Mars' Jezero Crater on Feb. 18, 2021.

The Perseverance rover's astrobiology mission will search for signs of ancient microbial life. It will also characterize the planet's climate and geology, collect samples for future return to Earth, and pave the way for human exploration of the Red Planet. The Perseverance rover mission is part of a larger program that includes missions to the Moon as a way to prepare for human exploration of the Red Planet. Charged with returning astronauts to the Moon by 2024, NASA will establish a sustained human presence on and around the Moon by 2028 through NASA's Artemis lunar exploration plans.

2020-094

Last Updated: May 18, 2020
Editor: Tony Greicius

tnt22

https://www.ulalaunch.com/explore/blog-detail/blog/2020/05/19/mars-2020-atlas-v-rocket-arrives-at-launch-site
ЦитатаMars 2020: Atlas V rocket arrives at launch site
May 19, 2020, 13:02 PM



With less than two months until launch, the Atlas V rocket has arrived at Cape Canaveral from the factory for its mission to send NASA's Perseverance rover to Mars in search of ancient life.
 
The rocket's first stage was delivered from ULA's manufacturing plant in Decatur, Alabama, aboard the massive Volga-Dnepr Antonov AN-124-100 cargo aircraft. The 107-foot-tall Atlas booster was loaded into the jet in Huntsville for the flight to the Skid Strip runway at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station on Monday, May 18.
 
The Antonov was parked at the runway's ramp, the front of the aircraft swung open and technicians offloaded the rocket today, May 19, for transport to the Atlas Spaceflight Operations Center (ASOC). The stage was wrapped in a protective covering for the trek from the factory.
 
At the ASOC, the stage will undergo receiving checks and ordnance installations before moving soon to the Vertical Integration Facility to begin stacking operations.
 
The first stage joins the Centaur upper stage already delivered to the Cape for the Perseverance launch. Centaur was driven from Decatur to the launch site in an over-the-road shipping trailer in mid-April to begin its pre-flight processing.
 
Since the Atlas first stage is too large to be transported across the Southeast U.S. by road, air-delivery by the Antonov is an alternative way to deliver the rocket.
 
The primary mode of transportation that ULA uses is the R/S RocketShip (learn more about the ship), the rocket-carrying cargo vessel that can navigate both shallow rivers and vast ocean travel.
 
But RocketShip has been occupied delivering the entire Delta IV Heavy rocket -- three common booster cores, Delta Cryogenic Second Stage and payload fairing -- to Vandenberg Air Force Base in California, via the Panama Canal, for an upcoming national security launch.
 
The Delta IV cores are too large for either road transport or the Antonov, making RocketShip the only method of taking the rocket to the launch site.
 
But the smaller diameter of Atlas allows its main stage to be compatible with both the RocketShip and the Antonov.
 
The Perseverance launch is planned for July 17 from Space Launch Complex-41 when the window of planetary alignment between Earth and Mars opens to dispatch the rover.
 
ULA and its heritage rockets have launched every U.S. mission to Mars. Atlas V, in particular, will be launching to Mars for the fifth time with Perseverance.

tnt22

Цитата NASA's Launch Services Program @NASA_LSP 3 ч. назад

The @ulalaunch #AtlasV rocket that will launch @NASAPersevere to the Red Planet this summer has arrived.

The booster is headed to preflight checkouts before stacking that will take place closer to liftoff. Follow along for launch milestones:
http://go.nasa.gov/2LDbGH4 

https://video.twimg.com/ext_tw_video/1262826089585524737/pu/vid/640x360/GualDCXLxhuOCcqy.mp4 (0:22)

tnt22

https://tass.ru/kosmos/8514431
Цитата20 МАЯ, 02:13
Ступень ракеты Atlas V доставили на мыс Канаверал на самолете российской компании
C помощью ракеты планируется вывести в космос новый марсоход NASA

НЬЮ-ЙОРК, 20 мая. /ТАСС/. Первую ступень американской ракеты-носителя Atlas V, с помощью которой планируется вывести в космос новый марсоход NASA, доставили на мыс Канаверал (штат Флорида) самолетом российской авиакомпании "Волга-Днепр". Об этом говорится в сообщении, опубликованном во вторник на сайте компании United Launch Alliance (ULA).

"Первая ступень ракеты была доставлена с предприятия ULA в Декейтере (штат Алабама) на борту огромного транспортного самолета Ан-124-100 компании "Волга-Днепр", - отметили представители американской фирмы. Они уточнили, что ступень, высота которой составляет более 32 м, погрузили на борт самолета в городе Хантсвилл (штат Алабама). В понедельник этот элемент ракеты-носителя доставили на космодром на мысе Канаверал.

Первую ступень выгрузили из самолета во вторник. Специалисты проверят ее и подготовят к запуску. В компании отметили, что данный элемент Atlas V является слишком большим, чтобы везти его автотранспортом. В сообщении констатируется, что для этих целей ULA обычно использует специальное судно, но на его борту сейчас доставляют другие грузы.

Вторая ступень Atlas V была привезена из Декейтера на космодром на мысе Канаверал в середине апреля. Как отметили в ULA, запуск с целью вывода в космос марсохода NASA Perseverance ("Настойчивость") запланирован на 17 июля. В американском космическом ведомстве рассчитывают, что с помощью этого аппарата, в частности, будут проведены поиски возможных следов жизни на Марсе.

tnt22

https://blogs.nasa.gov/mars2020/2020/05/21/nasas-mars-perseverance-rover-gets-a-boost/
https://blogs.nasa.gov/kennedy/2020/05/21/nasas-mars-perseverance-rover-gets-a-boost/

Цитата: undefinedNASA's Mars Perseverance Rover Gets a Boost

James Cawley
Posted May 21, 2020 at 11:06 am

Mars Perseverance rover booster offload
The United Launch Alliance booster for NASA's Mars Perseverance rover is offloaded from the Antonov 124 cargo aircraft at the Skid Strip at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida on May 19, 2020. Photo credit: NASA/Kim Shiflett

With the addition of a powerful piece of hardware, NASA's Mars Perseverance rover continues to progress toward its much-anticipated launch in less than two months.

The spacecraft's booster arrived at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station's Skid Strip on Monday, May 18. It was then offloaded and taken to United Launch Alliance's (ULA) Atlas Spaceflight Operations Center.

Mars Perseverance rover booster arrival
The Antonov 124 cargo aircraft, carrying the United Launch Alliance booster for NASA's Mars Perseverance rover, taxis off the runway at the Skid Strip at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station on May 18, 2020. Photo credit: NASA/Kim Shiflett

Perseverance remains on track for its targeted mid-July launch. The rover will liftoff aboard a ULA Atlas V 541 rocket from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station. NASA's Launch Services Program based at the agency's Kennedy Space Center in Florida is managing the launch.

Perseverance will reach the Red Planet on Feb. 18, 2021. After the rover enters the thin Martian atmosphere, the descent stage -- utilizing a tether of nylon cords -- will lower Perseverance to the surface of Jezero Crater.

Developed under NASA's Mars Exploration Program, the rover's astrobiology mission will search for signs of past microbial life. Ingenuity, the twin-rotor, solar-powered helicopter attached to Perseverance, will become the first aircraft to fly on another world.

tnt22

https://www.jpl.nasa.gov/news/news.php?feature=7665

Цитата: undefinedMAY 21, 2020
Air Deliveries Bring NASA's Perseverance Mars Rover Closer to Launch

This animated GIF shows a NASA Wallops Flight Facility C-130 soon after landing Kennedy Space Center
This animated GIF shows a NASA Wallops Flight Facility C-130 soon after landing Kennedy Space Center in Florida on May 11, 2020. The cargo plane was carrying nearly 5,000 pounds (2,270 kilograms) of mission flight hardware, test gear and equipment for the agency's Mars-bound Perseverance rover mission. Image Credit: NASA
› Larger view

Some of the nearly 5,000 pounds (2,270 kilograms) of Perseverance mission flight hardware
Some of the nearly 5,000 pounds (2,270 kilograms) of Perseverance mission flight hardware, test gear and equipment delivered to Kennedy Space Center on May 11, 2020, is unloaded from a NASA Wallops C-130. Image Credit: NASA
› Larger view

The first stage of the United Launch Alliance Atlas V that will carry NASA's Perseverance rover into space
The first stage of the United Launch Alliance Atlas V that will carry NASA's Perseverance rover into space is offloaded from an Antonov cargo plane at Kennedy Space Center in Florida on May 11, 2020. Image Credit: NASA
› Larger view


A NASA Wallops Flight Facility cargo plane transported more than two tons of equipment - including the rover's sample collection tubes - to Florida for this summer's liftoff.

Progress continues to speed along as NASA's Perseverance rover readies for its launch this summer. On May 11, the rover team at the agency's Kennedy Space Center in Florida received the tubes tasked with holding the first samples collected at Mars for eventual return to Earth. A week later, the Atlas V launch vehicle that will hurl Perseverance to the Red Planet arrived at the launch site. Working together, personnel from NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Southern California and United Launch Alliance in Centennial, Colorado, were also able to extend the rover's launch period by six days, from Jul. 17-Aug. 5 to Jul. 17-Aug. 11.

The sample tubes will be filled with Martian rock and sediment and deposited on the planet for a future mission to return to Earth to be studied. They're part of the rover's Sample Caching System, the most complex and capable mechanism of its kind to be sent into space to address the question of potential life beyond Earth.

The tubes and their seals were among the nearly 5,000 pounds (2,270 kilograms) of mission flight hardware, test gear and equipment that traveled from JPL to NASA's Armstrong Flight Research Center in Palmdale, California. On May 10, the equipment was loaded onto a C-130 cargo plane from NASA's Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia. The following day, the crew set out for Florida, touching down on Kennedy Space Center's Launch and Landing Facility a little before 3 p.m. local time. They were back at Wallops that evening.

A week later, on May 18, a giant Antonov cargo plane delivered the first stage of the mission's Atlas V launch vehicle, arriving at Kennedy Space Center just after 4 p.m. local time. The following day the booster was transported to the Atlas Spaceflight Operations Center at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station.

Once final testing is complete, the Atlas will be moved to the Vertical Integration Facility at Space Launch Complex 41, where preparations for the launch of Perseverance have begun following the successful Atlas V launch of the USSF-7 mission on May 17. Next, the Centaur upper stage and the payload fairing, which protects the spacecraft during launch, will be stacked on top of it.

Perseverance's Launch Period

Along with welcoming these key deliveries, Perseverance's team recently extended the mission's launch period - the range of days they can launch in order to reach Mars. Navigators calculated the original launch period, July 17-Aug. 5, over four years ago - long before the final weight of the spacecraft (the rover, the protective aeroshell in which it will travel to Mars, the descent stage, and the cruise stage that will take them there) could be well defined. With the new spacecraft data in hand, as well as an update on Atlas V performance margins from United Launch Alliance, the navigation team has expanded the period to Aug. 11.

"Vehicle design maturity is the space navigator's friend," said Fernando Abilleira, design and navigation manager for the mission. "We now have a 26-day launch period to get Perseverance on its way."

No matter what day Perseverance lifts off during its launch period, it will land in Mars' Jezero Crater on Feb. 18, 2021. Targeting landing for one specific date and time helps mission planners better understand lighting and temperature at the landing site, as well as the location of Mars-orbiting satellites tasked with recording and relaying spacecraft data during its descent and landing.

About the Mission

The Perseverance rover's astrobiology mission will search for signs of ancient microbial life. It will also characterize the planet's climate and geology, collect samples for future return to Earth and pave the way for human exploration of the Red Planet. The mission is part of a larger program that includes missions to the Moon as a way to prepare for human exploration of the Red Planet. Charged with returning astronauts to the Moon by 2024, NASA will establish a sustained human presence on and around the Moon by 2028 through NASA's Artemis lunar exploration plans.

2020-097

tnt22

23.05.2020 02:28:33 #258 Последнее редактирование: 23.05.2020 22:21:46 от tnt22
https://blogs.nasa.gov/redplanetdispatch/2020/05/22/with-perseverance-were-on-our-way-toward-a-sustained-human-presence-on-mars/
Цитата: undefinedWith Perseverance, we're on our way toward a Sustained Human Presence on Mars!

Bob Collom
Posted May 22, 2020 at 12:58 pm

 
By: David McIntosh, Michelle Viotti, Richard (Rick) Davis, and Bob Collom


Artist Concept: Mars rover Perseverance sets out to seek signs of life - and prepare for a human future on Mars. Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

Exciting times as Mars 2020 Rover Perseverance is getting ready to set off on a life-seeking mission, but it marks the beginning of so much more! The Mars 2020 mission is actually the first of a multi-mission effort to return samples from Mars to Earth. That interplanetary round-trip campaign is a precursor for future round-trip crew-carrying spacecraft that will take humans back and forth between Earth and Mars over several missions, ultimately leading to a sustained human presence on the surface of the red planet!

The returned samples that Perseverance collects will be critical for high-priority scientific investigations about microbial life, but will also allow human-mission planners to understand the mechanical properties of the Martian dust, dirt, rocks, and minerals (the "regolith") - that is, how abrasive they are, their oxidizing potential, particle size and shape, etc. That information will teach us about potential human-health hazards: toxicity, respiratory issues, and potential biohazards of any existing microbial life on Mars etc. These data will help mission planners design strategies to safeguard Mars explorers. The analysis of minerals in the returned samples may also have a direct impact on understanding what natural mineral resources are potentially available for future human use on Mars.

Beyond kicking off the Mars sample return campaign, Perseverance will gather mission-enabling knowledge critical to every phase of humanity's own future round-trip voyages to Mars: getting safely to the Martian surface, living and working on Mars, and returning home to Earth.

Getting Safely to the Martian Surface


The Mars Entry, Descent, and Landing Instrument (MEDLI) will tell mission planners how to protect humans during entry, descent, and landing, one of the riskiest parts of any Mars mission. Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

The Mars 2020 aeroshell that protects the rover on its journey carries sensors that will tell us how the spacecraft heats up and performs during entry into the Martian atmosphere. That information will help engineers improve landing designs for the larger crew and cargo landers necessary for human missions. During descent, the rover will demonstrate a new autonomous guidance system called Terrain Relative Navigation (TRN). This hazard-avoidance system may join beacons and other technologies that support landing large cargo in advance of humans, as well as eventual piloted landings by crewed vehicles.

Living and Working on Mars


Right: Artist concept of a possible in-situ resource utilization (ISRU) facility (foreground) on Mars. Credit: NASA

Mars is an extreme environment, but Perseverance is going to make the most of it. The rover carries a special "lung" that will produce oxygen from Mars' carbon-dioxide atmosphere. It will be the very first demonstration of how to process natural resources on Mars for human use. Large quantities of oxygen will be needed to produce propellant ("rocket fuel") for astronauts' return trip home to Earth, as well as to provide back-up oxygen supplies for breathable air.

The oxygen-generating instrument will also monitor how abundant Martian dust in the atmosphere interacts with machinery to improve future engineering designs. In addition, Perseverance's new weather-monitoring capabilities are specially designed to enhance our understanding of the relationship between dust and weather through the Martian seasons. Learning more about Martian dust will help engineers design better shelters for astronauts, as well as equipment that has to function for long durations on the surface. After all, Mars-bound explorers will want to know their equipment will work for years in the Martian environment.

Once at home on the surface, future human explorers venturing outdoors on Marswalks will need spacesuits that are strong enough to withstand the elements, but flexible enough to move around with agility. Perseverance carries five samples of different space-suit materials to see how each performs in long exposures to radiation and dust in the Martian environment.

As they explore, robotic companions will likely join the crew to enhance their scientific investigations and help keep them safe, just as Perseverance has a helicopter pal named Ingenuity. Like drones here on Earth, Ingenuity will soar overhead, demonstrating how future aerial vehicles could scout out compelling places for humans to explore - or venture into places too steep or too hazardous for people.


Perseverance carries a ground-penetrating radar called RIMFAX (Radar Imager for Mars' subsurface experiment), which will reveal the Martian subsurface. Artist Concept. Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/FFI

Perseverance also demonstrates the first ground-penetrating radar on the Martian surface. Similar systems will land at a potential human base in advance of people arriving, to look for precious water resources found in subsurface water ice. Just as we can extract valuable resources from the Martian atmosphere, water ice on Mars can be processed to produce hydrogen, another key ingredient of propellant needed for launching back to Earth from Mars.

While Perseverance's landing site in Jezero Crater is likely too close to the equator for water ice to be present, a future ice-seeking orbiter will be able to calibrate its radar with Perseverance's results, helping to ensure resources are really there and accessible before humans arrive. Seeing the structure of subsurface rock layers will also ensure that the ground below is stable enough for landing heavy human-class payloads such as a life-supporting habitat and for building a launch pad and other infrastructure needed by human explorers.
Returning to our Home World: Earth


The "Mother Ship" (Mars Transfer Vehicle) will transport humans back and forth between Earth and Mars. Credit: NASA

Thanks to the Mars 2020 mission, living and working on Mars will be safer and more comfortable, from habitat design to "walkabouts." When the first humans are ready to blast off from Mars on their voyage back to Earth, they will use oxygen, hydrogen, and methane fuel that can be traced back to Perseverance's demonstrations of how to use Martian natural resources. And, just like the samples Perseverance collects, Mars astronauts will launch on a Mars Ascent Vehicle and reunite with a "Mothership" that will carry them safely home. While sending humans to Mars is a complex endeavor, making step-by-step progress through Perseverance and other advances, our human adventure on Mars is closer than ever.

tnt22

https://spaceflightnow.com/2020/05/24/assembly-of-mars-rovers-rocket-to-begin-this-week/

Цитата: undefinedAssembly of Mars rover's rocket to begin this week
May 24, 2020 | Stephen Clark


Wrapped up for shipment, the first stage of the Atlas 5 rocket that will launch NASA's Perseverance rover arrived at Cape Canaveral one May 18 aboard a Ukrainian-built Antonov An-124 cargo plane. Credit: NASA/Kim Shiflett

Two key pieces of hardware needed for NASA's next Mars rover -- an Atlas rocket booster and sterile components of the rover's sample collection system -- recently arrived at Cape Canaveral ahead of the mission's scheduled launch July 17.

The first stage of United Launch Alliance's Atlas 5 rocket arrived at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station's Skid Strip runway May 18 aboard a Ukrainian-built Antonov An-124 transport plane. The cargo aircraft carried the 107-f0ot-long (32-meter) Atlas first stage from Huntsville, Alabama, near ULA's rocket factory in Decatur.

After unloading the booster from the cargo jet, ULA moved the rocket into the Atlas Spaceflight Operations Center for post-shipment checks.

ULA typically delivers rocket hardware launch sites using the company's ocean-going vessel named "RocketShip." But the vessel recently ferried there Delta 4 rocket cores to Vandenberg Air Force Base in California, and was not available for the Atlas 5 shipment to Florida.

Rocket and rover preparations for the July launch are continuing with safeguards to mitigate impacts from the coronavirus pandemic.

Omar Baez, NASA's launch director for the Perseverance mission, said the rocket's arrival at Cape Canaveral and the successful launch of the previous Atlas 5 flight May 17 "should set us up with plenty of time for hitting the beginning of the (rover) launch window July 17."

"Things are progressing as well as they can," Baez said.

Liftoff is scheduled at 9:10 a.m. EDT (1310 GMT) on July 17, within a broader window extending from 9:00-10:40 a.m. EDT (1300-1440 GMT), according to Baez.

"We're really looking forward to this one," he said. "Things evolve from day-to-day. We learn from every mission as far as things that we have to do to protect ourselves and to prevent the team from getting sick.

"We're definitely are encouraging people, unless they have a significant primary role, not to travel for the testing or the launch," Baez said. "That work is progressing as best we can. Obviously, there's a lot of teleworking, but when we do have to have the hands-on work, we try to do it in as safe of a manner as possible."

Hardware for the Perseverance rover landed at the Kennedy Space Center's Launch and Landing Facility on May 11 on a NASA C-130 transport plane. The delivery included the mission's sample tubes, cigar-sized metal cylinders that will store rock samples collected by the Perseverance rover for retrieval and return to Earth by subsequent robotic missions.

The two hardware arrivals signaled the start of a new phase of launch preparations for the Perseverance rover, the centerpiece of NASA's $2.5 billion Mars 2020 mission.

The 43 sampling tubes are part of the rover's sample handling system, consisting of a robotic arm, motors, seals and a rotating array of nine drill bits for abrading, regolith collection, and coring of Martian rocks. The specimens drilled from rocks will be stored into the metallic tubes, where samples will be hermetically sealed to await arrival of a follow-on robotic mission in the late 2020s, which will return the material to Earth for analysis.


Workers offload the Perseverance rovers' Adaptive Caching Assembly May 11 from a NASA C-130 cargo plane at Kennedy Space Center's Launch and Landing Facility. Credit: NASA/Ben Smegelsky

The Perseverance rover is inside the Payload Hazardous Servicing Facility at Kennedy, where ground teams are putting the final touches on the spacecraft before its closed up inside the payload fairing of its Atlas 5 launcher.

With the final pieces of the sampling system now at Kennedy, NASA teams planned to finish installing the mission's heat shield. Other tasks planned in the next few weeks include fueling of the mission's cruise stage, which will shepherd the rover during the seven-month journey from Earth to Mars.

The rover -- enclosed inside its atmospheric entry capsule -- will then be mated with the cruise stage and attached to the Atlas 5's payload attachment fixture. The entire spacecraft will next be encapsulated inside the Atlas 5's Swiss-made payload fairing, then transferred to ULA's Vertical Integration Facility for integration with the launch vehicle.

Stacking of the Atlas 5 rocket -- tail number AV-088 -- is scheduled to get underway May 28 with the hoisting of the first stage vertical on top of the Atlas mobile launch platform inside the VIF, according to Omar Baez, NASA's launch director for the Perseverance rover mission.

ULA ground crews transferred the mobile launch platform back inside the VIF from Cape Canaveral's Complex 41 launch pad last week following liftoff of the previous Atlas 5 flight May 17.

The Atlas 5 for the Perseverance rover mission will fly in the "541" configuration with four strap-on solid rocket boosters and a 17.7-foot-diameter (5.4-meter) diameter payload fairing.

ULA will install the Atlas 5's four solid-fueled boosters after raising the first stage inside the rocket's vertical hangar.

The Atlas 5's Centaur upper stage, which will propel the rover on an escape trajectory away from Earth, will be stacked on top of the rocket around June 4, Baez said.


NASA's Perseverance rover is seen mounted on its descent stage inside the mission's atmospheric entry vehicle, which will protect the rover when it plunges into the Martian atmosphere. Credit: NASA/Christian Mangano

ULA will roll the Atlas 5 rocket out to pad 41 on June 17 for a fueling test. ULA performs such fueling demonstrations before launches with limited planetary launch windows to ensure teams can detect and resolve any problems one the rocket before launch day.

The Atlas 5 will return to the VIF after the tanking test.

"After we're done with that, we'll mate the rover spacecraft to the Atlas-Centaur on June 22, do a test between it and the rocket, and that'll set us up pretty much for our final reviews, installation of the RTG, doing a dress rehearsal, and getting our launch readiness review out of the way," Baez said in an interview with Spaceflight Now.

The Multi-Mission Radioisotope Thermoelectric Generator, or MMRTG, is the rover's nuclear power source. The device converts heat from the radioactive decay of plutonium into electricity. Provided by the U.S. Department of Energy, the power generator is one of the final items installed on the rover in the final weeks before launch.

The Atlas 5 rocket is the only launch vehicle currently certified by NASA to carry nuclear-powered payloads into space.

The rocket assigned to the Perseverance rover launch has no significant modifications from ULA's standard Atlas 5 vehicle, Baez said.

But there's one change to the pyrotechnic system that would be activated to destroy the Atlas 5 if it deviates from its planned course and threatens populated areas. Such an event is highly unlikely, and the Atlas 5 has successfully reached orbit on all 84 of its missions to date.

"If you did have some kind of accident, that's to prevent the MMRTG from being a danger to the public," Baez said. "So we try to be very precise in destroying, for example the Centaur (upper stage), in a way that the MMRTG is not in harms way, where it could harm the public. Thats about the only difference between this and a non-nuclear mission."

Baez said the same type of ordnance system was used on the Atlas 5 rocket that launched the Curiosity Mars rover in 2011. The Perseverance rover is similar in design to Curiosity, but carries a different set of scientific instruments.

The Perseverance rover's launch window extends from July 17 through Aug. 11. NASA and ULA recently assessed the performance of the Atlas 5 rocket and the final mass of the spacecraft, engineers determined they could add six days to the launch period.

Launch opportunities to Mars only come about once every 26 months, when the positions of the planets make a direct journey possible.