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Atlas 5 launches Mars 2020 mission for NASA
Posted: Fri, Jul 31, 2020, 6:36 PM ET (2236 GMT)
Atlas 5 launch of Mars 2020 (NASA) NASA's Mars 2020 mission is on its way after a successful launch Thursday morning. The Atlas 5 carrying Mars 2020 lifted off on schedule at 7:50 am EDT (1150 GMT), releasing the spacecraft on a Mars-bound trajectory nearly an hour later. Mars 2020 will deliver the Perseverance rover on the Martian surface next February. That rover will collect samples of Martian rock for return to Earth by two later missions under development by NASA and ESA. The $2.4 billion rover carries a wide range of other science instruments as well as Ingenuity, a small helicopter that will attempt to fly in the Martian atmosphere. Mars 2020 is the last of three Mars missions to launch this year, after the Hope orbiter by the UAE and China's Tianwen-1 Mars orbiter and rover.
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