NASA to Broadcast Mars 2020 Perseverance Launch, Prelaunch Activities

July 27, news activities will cover everything from mission engineering and
science to returning samples from Mars to, of course, the launch itself.

NASA is targeting 7:50 a.m. EDT (4:50
a.m. PDT) Thursday, July 30, for the launch of its Mars 2020 Perseverance rover
on a United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket from Space Launch Complex 41 at Cape
Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida. The launch window is approximately two
hours, with a launch opportunity every five minutes.

Live launch coverage will begin at 7
a.m. EDT (4 a.m. PDT) on NASA Television and the agency’s website.

mission – designed to better understand the
geology and climate of Mars and seek signs of ancient life on the Red Planet – will use the robotic
scientist, which weighs just under 2,300 pounds (1,043 kilograms) and is the size of a small
car, to collect and store a set of rock and soil samples that could be returned
to Earth by future Mars sample return missions. It also will test new
technologies to benefit future robotic and human exploration of Mars.

Jet Propulsion Laboratory, managed by Caltech in Southern California,
built the Perseverance rover and will manage mission operations for NASA. The
agency’s Launch Services Program, based at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida, is responsible for
launch management.

Mars 2020 Perseverance is part of America’s larger
Moon to Mars exploration approach that includes missions to the Moon as a way
to prepare for human exploration of the Red Planet. Charged with sending the
first woman and next man to the Moon by 2024, NASA will establish a sustained
human presence on and around the Moon by 2028 through NASA’s Artemis program.

Questions may be asked via
social media with the hashtag #CountdownToMars.

Full mission coverage is as

July 27

  • 1 p.m. EDT (10 a.m. PDT) – Mars 2020
    Prelaunch News Conference. Participants include:
    • NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine
    • Thomas Zurbuchen, associate administrator, NASA’s Science Mission Directorate
    • Omar Baez, launch director, NASA’s Launch Services
    • Matt Wallace, deputy project manager, JPL
    • Tory Bruno, CEO, United Launch Alliance
    • Jessica Williams, launch weather officer, 45th Space

  • 3 p.m. EDT (12 p.m. PDT) – Mars 2020
    Mission Engineering/Science Briefing. Participants include:
    • Lori Glaze, NASA Planetary Science
      Division director
    • Jennifer Trosper, deputy project
      manager, JPL
    • Farah Alibay, mobility engineer, JPL
    • Ken Farley, project scientist,
    • Tanja Bosak, science team member,
      Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Tuesday, July 28

  • 2 p.m. EDT (11 a.m. PDT) – Mars
    2020 Mars Sample Return Briefing.
    Participants include:
    • Thomas
      Zurbuchen, associate
      administrator, NASA’s Science Mission
    • David
      Parker, director of human and robotic exploration, ESA (European Space Agency)
    • Jeff Gramling, NASA Mars
      Sample Return Program director
    • Julie Townsend, sampling
      and caching operations lead, JPL
    • Chris Herd, returned
      sample science participating scientist, University of Alberta
    • Lisa Pratt, NASA planetary protection officer
  • 4 p.m. EDT (1 p.m. PDT) – Mars
    2020 Mission Tech and Humans to Mars Briefing.
    Participants include:
    • Jeff Sheehy, chief
      engineer, NASA’s Space Technology Mission Directorate
    • Jim Watzin, NASA Mars
      Exploration Program director
    • Michael Hecht, MOXIE
      principal investigator, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
    • MiMi Aung, Ingenuity
      Mars Helicopter project manager, JPL
    • Amy Ross, lead spacesuit
      engineer NASA’s Johnson Space Center
    • Michelle Rucker, Mars Integration Group lead,
      NASA’s Johnson Space Center

Wednesday, July 29

  • Noon EDT (9 a.m. PDT) –
    Administrator Briefing. Participants include:
    • NASA Administrator Jim
    • NASA Deputy
      Administrator Jim Morhard
    • Kennedy Center Director
      Bob Cabana
    • NASA astronaut Zena

Thursday, July 30

  • 7 a.m. EDT (4 a.m. PDT) – NASA TV
    live launch coverage begins
  • 11:30 a.m. EDT (8:30 a.m. PDT) – Postlaunch News Conference

Audio only of the news conferences
and launch coverage will be carried on the NASA “V” circuits, which
may be accessed by dialing 321-867-1220, -1240, -1260, or -7135. On launch day,
“mission audio,” the launch conductor’s countdown activities without
NASA TV launch commentary, will be carried on 321-867-7135.

On launch day, a “clean feed”
of the launch without NASA TV commentary will be carried on the NASA TV media
channel. Launch also will be available on local amateur VHF radio frequency
146.940 MHz and UHF radio frequency 444.925 MHz, heard within Brevard County on
Florida’s Space Coast.

For more information, visit:

Mars 2020 press kit:

News Media Contact

Grey Hautaluoma

NASA Headquarters, Washington


Mary MacLaughlin / Kenna Pell

Kennedy Space Center, Fla.

321-289-7960 / 321-501-0625 /


Source: Jet Propulsion Laboratory

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