NASA successfully launches the Mars Perseverance rover into space; scheduled to land on Mars on February 18, 2021
Almost a month after NASA and SpaceX sent astronauts to the International Space Station, today NASA successfully launched the Perseverance rover to Mars on-time from Cape Canaveral, Florida, in a historic mission that will bring back samples from Mars to Earth.
According to NASA, Perseverance is now settling in for its seven-month interplanetary flight with an expected February 2021 landing date and will spend the coming years scouring for signs of ancient microbial life.
Perseverance is also carrying the names of 11 million people who submitted to NASA’s “Send Your Name to Mars” campaign, as well as a plaque honoring global health care workers amid the pandemic — and some celestially inspiring art.
The launch is NASA’s ninth mission to land on the red planet and its fifth rover. Perseverance’s design and new capabilities build on lessons learned from previous rovers.
Below is a Twitter video of the launch.