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Space

NASA 2020 Launch Green For Go

NASA is on a recovery spree following the disruption by the coronavirus pandemic. Before the virus spread, the agency had in its plans to have a launch to Mars this year. However, there are plans to have the launch possible this year. Concerning this matter, officials at NASA report that the agency’s summer’s Perseverance rover launch preparations will start as part of a set of special actions aimed to ensure success during the global pandemic.

This year’s expected Mars mission launch will be on July 20th. According to plans from NASA, the launch will be at NASA’s Cape Canaveral Air Force Station based in Florida on the United Launch Alliance Atlas 5 launch pad. NASA’s initial plans had the initial deployment set for July 17th but postponed to three days later after crane issues emerged.

The project officials announced that previous milestones occur as planned. They further report that the spacecraft’s construction itself occurred on time. The plan had the spacecraft embedded as part of the cargo line transported and straddled on the rocket while being transported to NASA’s Atlas 5 vertical convergence site.

Challenges experienced in the upcoming months will postpone the launch further into the year. According to NASA’s chief of Launch Services, Omar Baez, the program is currently in green for go   Likewise he goes on to say that some significant disruptions can influence the release date,

The project’s estimated launch timeline covers the span of the total preparation and launch time, up to August 11th. According to Matt Wallace, the Deputy Project Manager for Mars 2020 mission and Omar Baez, the timeframe is more than adequate to cater to last-minute problems. The duo is confident that the timeframe is sufficient to take advantage of the previously appropriated launch window.

Baez relayed information saying that the timeframe goes extend up to late August provided that the launch window starts from August 11th. Baez relates that the agency is under no rush regarding the timing.

However, there are stakes involved with the launch. Should NASA’s Mars 2020 mission miss this year’s launch opportunity, the agency has to wait for 26 months for the upcoming launch widow expected for next year. Because of this NASA, planned to make this launch a top priority during the pandemic recovery period.  NASA commissioned the Demo-2 commercial based crew on May 30th, to make special preparations to place the mission as the most important task after the pandemic recedes