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Is NASA Making Good Progress on the Mars 2020 Rover?

Mankind is still years away from making a manned trip to Mars, but a NASA rover will begin its journey to the Red Planet next year, and earthbound viewers can watch the rover come together before its voyage. Thanks to a webcam nicknamed "Seeing 2020," anyone can go online and witness a team of engineers and technicians assemble and test the Mars 2020 rover in a cleanroom at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California. The mission is expected to launch in July 2020 and the rover will land on Mars in February 2021, where it will collect rock and soil samples and scan for signs of previous microbial life. With just over a year to go before the launch, the rover (which is yet to be named) is beginning to take shape, with the recent installation of six wheels and a suspension system. Although the webcam operates 24 hours a day, every day, NASA cautions that there will be down times when the camera is turned off for maintenance or the rover work moves out of sight temporarily. Otherwise, the continuous live feed, which offers a bird's-eye view of the rover work, can be found at https://mars.nasa.gov/mars2020/mission/where-is-the-rover/.

Reading up on the Red Planet:

  • Mars boasts Olympus Mons, the tallest mountain in the solar system, at 16 miles (24 km) in height. It is about three times as tall as Mount Everest.

  • A day on Mars is barely longer than one on Earth, but a Martian year is almost twice as long because Mars has a much lengthier orbit around the sun.

  • Mars has two moons: Phobos and Deimos. Phobos is expected to rip apart or crash into Mars within 50 million years.

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More Info: NASA

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