Brendan Byrne tweeted that the United States Air Force C-17A Globemaster III will carry NASA’s ‘Mars 2020’ rover over to the Shuttle Landing Facility at Florida on 13th February 2020. The Mars 2020 rover will thereby be processed ahead of its launch to the Red Planet from Cape Canaveral Space Launch Complex 41 sometime later this year.
Two spectators, John Kraus and Trevor Mahlmann caught the video of the Air Force plane landing at Florida, its designated destination. Kraus tweeted a video of the plane touching the ground at Florida.
Plane tracking is no easy task and Malhmann had some help from various sources. He was able to figure out that the plane carrying the Mars 2020 rover will reach its destination a bit earlier than the planned 3:10 pm local arrival time. And true to his predictions, the plane landed at 2:55 pm local time.
NASA’s Mars 2020 mission has a window time-frame between July 17th and August 5th, 2020. The rover is expected to reach its destination on Mars on February 18th, 2021. The rover is supposed to land near Jezero crater on Mars, and the mission will last over the span of one Mars year or about 687 days here on Earth.
About the rover: Mars Science Laboratory’s Curiosity rover configuration designed the Mars 2020 rover. According to NASA’s official website, the rover is car-sized, about 10 feet long (not including the arm), 9 feet wide, and 7 feet tall (about 3 meters long, 2.7 meters wide, and 2.2 meters tall). But at 2,260 pounds (1,025 kilograms), it weighs less than a compact car. The rover has antennas build on it for speaking and listening.
NASA’s Mars 2020 rover will be onboard the rocket Atlas V. The rover is still unnamed. However, NASA had held a naming content in 2019, and people from all over the world took part in it. NASA will finally reveal the name of the rover sometime in 2020 before the take-off.