Launch set for NASA's next-generation Mars rover Perseverance By

Launch set for NASA's next-generation Mars rover Perseverance By

It will also test out new technology to pave the way for future robot or human exploration of our neighboring planet.

On Tuesday, Perseverance made its way onto the launch pad, and the U.S. Air Force 45th Weather Squadron predicted an 80% chance of favorable weather conditions for Thursday's launch.

The launch of the Mars 2020 mission will happen in a launch window that opens at 7:50 a.m. EDT.

"This is the ninth time we've landed on Mars, so we do have experience with it", NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine told in an interview on Wednesday.

For those who want to witness NASA launch the Perseverance Rover today, July 30, the launch window for the rover will be at 7:50 a.m. EDT or 4:50 a.m. PDT.

The rover's main job is to seek out signs of ancient life and collect rock and soil samples for a possible return to Earth, according to NASA.

Perseverance will have out an experiment to convert things of the carbon dioxide-prosperous Martian environment into propellant for upcoming rockets launching off the planet's area, or to generate breathable oxygen for future astronauts. Finally, news that isn't COVID-19 related. Weighing in at just 1.8 kg (or less than 700 grams in the lower gravity of Mars), Ingenuity aims to be the first aircraft to fly on another planet.

Perseverance and Ingenuity are bringing humans closer to Mars. This plaque isn't the only community-centric piece hitching a ride with the rover; almost 11 million names from around the world are also making the trip as part of NASA's online boarding pass program.

Perseverance will land in Jezero Crater, a lakeshore once thought to have been flooded with water.

The Mars 2020 launch, scheduled to occur at the opening of a 2 hour window beginning at 7:50 a.m. EDT from Space Launch Complex 41, is now forecast to enjoy an 80% chance of "go" for weather conditions.

It is the latest launch from Earth to Mars during a busy month of July, following probes sent by the United Arab Emirates and China.

"A modular vehicle, each Atlas V is tailored to the needs of its passenger by adding as many as five side-mounted solid rocket boosters for increased lift performance and a variety of available payload fairings in various diameters and lengths to protect satellites during atmospheric ascent".

Matt Haskell is a published aviation and spaceflight photographer and writer based in Merritt Island Florida.