- Following two earlier delays that pushed the launch of NASA’s new Mars rover Perseverance back again by many times, the start has been delayed however yet again.
- The new start date will be no previously than July 30th, NASA now says.
- The launch window for a mission to Mars closes on August 15th.
In spite of a world wide wellbeing disaster and quite a few other hurdles standing between NASA and the start of the Mars 2020 mission, the house company has remained self-confident that it won’t be compelled to force the commence of the mission back to 2022. All the things seemed to be in buy, that is right until about a thirty day period in the past when delays to the start pushed it back by a few times, and then one more several days.
Now, NASA is asserting the third hold off to the start, pushing it all the way back again to July 30th at the earliest. The place company issued a transient assertion blaming this hold off on issues with the start motor vehicle and suggests it’s doable the start could be pushed back again even further more.
The two preceding delays were blamed on ground equipment difficulties and experienced absolutely nothing to do with the spacecraft or its payload, the Perseverance Mars rover, and the Mars helicopter. This a single is a bit diverse, as NASA explains:
Owing to start vehicle processing delays in preparation for spacecraft mate functions, NASA and United Start Alliance have moved the initially start endeavor of the Mars 2020 mission to no earlier than July 30. A liquid oxygen sensor line presented off-nominal details all through the Wet Dress Rehearsal, and added time is wanted for the crew to inspect and evaluate. Flight investigation teams have expanded the mission start chances to August 15 and are examining if the launch period may possibly be prolonged even further into August.
It was just a couple of months ago that NASA laid out its worst-scenario circumstance for the Mars 2020 mission. The room company mentioned that the challenging lower-off day for the mission, which was thought to be incredibly early in August, was a bit additional flexible, and could potentially be prolonged all the way to August 15th.
At the time, that prolonged start window did not seem like it would be desired, as matters had been shaping up nicely with only a pair of tiny bumps in the street. Now, on the other hand, it’s looking significantly likely that NASA might will need each and every inch of that launch window in buy to prevent delaying the rover’s launch by many years.
Because of to the nature of planetary orbits, the opportunity to ship a mission from Earth to Mars only arrives all-around every pair of several years or so, and if NASA misses its prolonged deadline, the area company would be pressured to wait around until at minimum early 2022 to consider all over again. Definitely, NASA does not want to see that come about, and it’s performing almost everything it can to avoid it.