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NASA’s Mars 2020 mission has begun the assembly, test and launch operations (ATLO) phase of its buildup, on track for a July 2020 launch to Mars. The crew is adding flight components and electronic equipment to the “sky crane” that assists in the landing of the detectors. The final assembling will be done at the Spacecraft Assembly Facility High Bay 1 at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California.

No better place in the world to assemble NASA’s next Mars rover than JPL’s High Bay 1 – John McNamee, Mars 2020 Project Manager, JPL

On the floor, you’ll see the components of our spacecraft taking shape – put together by people who are the best in the world at what they do. And on the wall behind them, you will see all the logos of the historic missions of exploration that have also been assembled in High Bay 1 in the past.

“We are now dealing with the landing zone of the probe. We hope that by the fall, part of the rover will start construction.” – David Gruel, Head of the ATLO stage

NASA Mars 2020 is targeted for launch in July 2020 aboard an Atlas V 541 rocket from Space Launch Complex 41 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida. The rover will conduct geological assessments of its landing site on Mars, determine the habitability of the environment, search for signs of ancient Martian life, and assess available natural resources and probable hazards for future explorers.

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