Mars 2020

Michael Malka, Staff Writer

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NASA plans to send another rover to Mars this year and is currently in the planning stage for the mission.

NASA’s rover mission, temporarily named Mars 2020, will collect samples of rock, soil, and any other valuable resources. We can expect it to search for current lifeforms and past microbial life. NASA has gone as far as to try to identify subsurface water and produce pure oxygen from the Martian atmosphere using a process called solid oxide electrolysis, which splits water molecules into hydrogen and oxygen.

NASA is planning to launch the rover on July 17, 2020 in Cape Canaveral, and is expected to land on February 18, 2021 in the Jezero crater, lasting 1 Martian year or 2 Earth years. 

The rover’s design is very similar to that of Curiosity, a NASA rover launched in November 2011. Its components are nearly identical to those used for Curiosity. Mars 2020 will also launch on the same rocket as Curiosity, Atlas V, which has only had 1 malfunction in the 81 times it has been launched, so we can expect a safe and easy landing.

Mars 2020 will have a huge impact on humanity, and it will help us take a step forward toward new discoveries on Mars.