The NASA Perseverance Rover’s journey to Mars has been delayed a bit. The launch for Mars was earlier planned for July 22 but has been pushed back to July 30 or later. NASA and United Launch Alliance say that a problem with the data reported by a liquid oxygen sensor line is the reason for the delay. This data was reported during a practice session. The rover is expected to land in the Jezero crater on Mars, though it isn’t clear if it’ll be able to follow the earlier plan of landing on February 18, 2021.
“Due to launch vehicle processing delays in preparation for spacecraft mate operations, NASA and United Launch Alliance have moved the first launch attempt of the Mars 2020 mission to no earlier than July 30. A liquid oxygen sensor line presented off-nominal data during the Wet Dress Rehearsal, and additional time is needed for the team to inspect and evaluate. Flight analysis teams have expanded the mission launch opportunities to August 15 and are examining if the launch period may be extended further into August,” says the mission in an official statement.
The Perseverance rover will look for signs of ancient life and also collect rock as well as soil samples for possible return to Earth. The duration of the mission is one Mars year, which means about 687 Earth days. It weighs 1.025kg and the critical electronics are temperature controlled. The Perseverance rover is powered by what NASA calls a radiation-hardened central processor with PowerPC 750 architecture; a BAE RAD 750. This will operate at up to 200-megahertz speed, which is 10 times the speed in Mars rovers Spirit and Opportunity’s computers. It has 256MB of RAM as we know it in our computers and 2GB of flash memory.