On July 28, United Launch Alliance rolled the stacked Atlas V "Mars 2020" rocket out to Launch Complex 41, in advance of an anticipated launch on Thursday, July 30, 2020.
Then there's NASA's newest mission, scheduled to lift off from Cape Canaveral in Florida on July 30 at 7:50 a.m. ET.
The launch window will be from July 30 - August 15, 2020, at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Florida.
I'm exceptionally excited about what we're about to do because we're going to launch Mars 2020 with the Perseverance robot. The coronavirus, along with other technical delays, caused the space agency to have to delay the launch, but now things seem to be set in order, and as a result, a launch window has been set. If it misses its mark, it will have to wait nearly two years for the next opportune time. The sample will then be sent back to Earth and this will be part of a future mission, in a few years. It is only once every two years that the two planets come into ideal alignment with each other around the Sun. Interplanetary missions are no joke; in any and all conditions, are an expensive, time-consuming affair that requires a lot of planning. "We've learned so much about Mars, but we still can't answer one big question: has life ever existed there?"
Years of hard work and preparation have culminated in NASA's newest Mars rover, Perseverance, sitting atop its United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket at Cape Canaveral, set to leave Earth as early as 7:50 a.m. EDT (11:50 UTC) Thursday morning.
The Perseverance mission has a lander and a rover but will also include a helicopter (Ingenuity) for the first time.
NASA's most advanced life-hunting Mars rover is approaching lift-off in the northern summer's third and final mission to the Red Planet.
The mission will be exploring the Jezero Crater to study the planet Mars' tenant ability, seeking signs of ancient microbial life, collecting and storing samples of selected rock and soil, and preparing for future human missions. This unprecedented effort will involve multiple launches and spacecraft - and cost more than $8 billion. Ingenuity's high-risk, high-reward flight plans, as well as a planned Martian sample return mission, each represent firsts of their kind.
However, should unexpected delays force NASA to scrub the launch entirely, the U.S. space agency will have to wait until 2022 for another launch opportunity.
Zion Williamson gets start for Pelicans as NBA restarts
Players with the New Orleans Pelicans and the Utah Jazz restarted the NBA's season by kneeling during the National Anthem. The NBA allowed players to replace their names on the back of their jerseys with social justice messages.
Chiefs running back Damien Williams opts out of 2020 season
His contract now tolls, meaning that it rolls over into next year and he remains under contract to the Chiefs for the 2021 season. Damien Williams has been a solid contributor for the Chiefs over the past two seasons and has been with the team since 2014.