NASA Mars rover launch delayed again – here’s why

By: |
Published: July 1, 2020 8:40 PM

Managers are now targeting no earlier than July 30 for a liftoff from Cape Canaveral, eating up half of the month-long launch window.

NASA Mars Rover, NASA news MARS Rover
It is NASA’s most ambitious Mars mission yet, totaling around USD 3 billion. (Representative Image | NASA)

NASA has delayed the launch of its newest Mars rover yet again to the end of July at the earliest this time for a rocket issue.

If the Perseverance rover isn’t on its way by mid-August, it will have to wait until 2022 when Earth and Mars are back in proper alignment, costing NASA close to $500 million for the delay alone.

Managers are now targeting no earlier than July 30 for a liftoff from Cape Canaveral, eating up half of the month-long launch window. The good news is that NASA is trying to eke out more time in this summer’s launch opportunity, now lasting until at least August 15.

The chance to fly to Mars comes up only every 26 months.

It is NASA’s most ambitious Mars mission yet, totaling around USD 3 billion. Besides seeking signs of past microscopic Martian life, Perseverance will gather rocks and soil for eventual return to Earth.

Rocket maker United Launch Alliance needs extra time to deal with a liquid oxygen sensor line that showed questionable readings during a recent practice countdown, officials said Tuesday. Previous technical concerns including crane trouble at the pad bumped the launch from the original July 17 to the 20th and then 22nd.

The United Arab Emirates and China, meanwhile, still are pressing ahead with launches this month or next of Mars spacecraft. Russia and the European Space Agency had to bow out, delaying their Mars rover until 2022 because of delayed spacecraft testing and travel limitations due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Get live Stock Prices from BSE, NSE, US Market and latest NAV, portfolio of Mutual Funds, calculate your tax by Income Tax Calculator, know market’s Top Gainers, Top Losers & Best Equity Funds. Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Financial Express is now on Telegram. Click here to join our channel and stay updated with the latest Biz news and updates.

Next Stories
1Gaganyaan: Astronauts-elect complete training on abnormal descent module landing in Russia
2Is compensatory afforestation on Yamuna floodplain ‘unscientific’? Green panel to find out
3EIA Draft notification does not relax process of public hearing: Prakash Javadekar