NASA Launches New Mars Rover

This is NASA’s ninth journey to the surface of Earth’s neighbor planet.

The latest-generation Mars rover Perseverance blasted off atop nt Atlas 5 rocket from Florida’s Cape Canaveral on Thursday morning. Its $2.4 billion mission is to search for traces of potential life that may have existed on Earth’s planetary neighbor. It’s intended arrival is February 18.

“The spacecraft is in good health and on its way to Mars,” stated NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine.

The car-sized robot carries seven scientific instruments and will also deploy a mini helicopter on Mars to try out equipment for future human missions. The U.S. plans to send astronauts to Mars in the 2030s, but a return to the moon needs to occur as a testing platform.

NASA’s science division chief Thomas Zurbuchen said, “It’s really kind of a key of a whole bunch of new research that we’re doing that is focused on the question…is there life out there?”

This was the third launch from Earth to Mars this month, and the ninth overall by NASA. Other probes were sent by China and the United Arab Emirates.

Vice President Mike Pence stated, “Today is a great day for American leadership in space.”

As the Lord Leads, Pray with Us…

  • For the scientists with NASA and the mission communications group at the Jet Propulsion Laboratories in Pasadena, California (which experienced an earthquake Thursday morning).
  • About planned manned-missions to Mars and a prior planned return to the surface of the moon.

Sources: Reuters, NASA, New York Times


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