- Jul 27, 2021
The Mars 2020 rover is in the assembly stage at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in California, and you can be a fly on the wall of the clean room. NASA installed a live bird’s-eye view of NASA’s Mars 2020 rover as it takes shape at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California. You can watch as JPL engineers and technicians assemble and test the rover before it embarks next year on one of the most technologically challenging interplanetary missions ever designed.
The clean room may be or appear to be empty when assembly activity has shifted to other JPL facilities or when work on 2020 moves out of view of the camera to other parts of the clean room. – NASA
The camera is set up in the Jet Propulsion Laboratory’s clean room, where engineers dressed in white suits add to the rover and ensure its various components are in good working order for its eventual launch. At present, NASA plans to launch the Mars 2020 mission sometime on or immediately after July 17th, 2020. It won’t arrive at Mars until 2021 and going by the current schedule; it should get there on February 18th of that year.
Work starts on the rover every weekday at 8 AM Pacific Time. The back shell, descent stage, and cruise stage have already been assembled and tested. If you go to the feed to take a look, you may or may not see that much, depending on your timing. Some assembly work will happen at other facilities, or when workers are doing something out of view of the camera. The rover won’t launch on its journey until mid-2020 at the earliest. The assembly and testing stage is expected to take months.
The Mars 2020 rover is NASA’s next mission in their Mars Exploration Program (MEP) which has already accomplished so much. It’ll be looking for evidence of habitability in Mars’ ancient past. It’ll also be looking for evidence of past microbial life. In a first, it’ll also collect samples that will be retrieved by a future mission and returned to Earth.