NASA Installs Mobility Gear on Mars 2020 Rover

Jeff Brody

NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory installed the wheels, legs and suspension to facilitate mobility of the Mars 2020 rover. The legs consist of titanium tubing and the six aluminum wheels offer cleats to provide traction as the rover traverses terrain on the red planet, space agency said Friday.

"With the suspension on, not only does it look like a rover, but we have almost all our big-ticket items for integration in our rearview mirror — if our rover had one," said David Gruel, assembly, test and launch operations manager for Mars 2020.

The rover's suspension system features multiple pivot points and is designed to resist 45-degree tilts and terrain obstacles. JPL will install a robotic arm, a sensing instrument and a rock sample collection tool on the rover in the coming weeks.

NASA will launch the Mars 2020 mission from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in July 2020, and expects the rover to reach the red planet's Jezero Crater in February 2021.

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