NASA Completes Separation Test for Mars 2020 Rover

Jeff Brody

NASA has tested the separation capacity of the Mars 2020 rover's descent stage at the agency's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in California. Ryan van Schilifgaarde, a support engineer for the Mars 2020 assembly at Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory, said in a statement published Friday that it took a day for the team to carry out static fire tests and inspection efforts for the two components.

The descent stage and the rover will undergo a series of tests within a Mars-like environment prior to its delivery to Cape Canaveral in Florida. NASA will deploy Mars 2020 via a United Launch Alliance-built Atlas V rocket in 2020, and it expects the rover to arrive at the planet's Jezero Crater in 2021. JPL has been tapped by the agency to handle the rover's operations.

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