ULA, NASA in Final Launch Vehicle Preparations for Mars Mission

United Launch Alliance has delivered its Atlas V rocket to Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida in preparation for NASA’s Mars 2020 mission in the coming weeks, NASA Spaceflight reported Monday.

Atlas V is slated to launch the Perseverance rover as well as an experimental helicopter dubbed Ingenuity within the July 17 to August 11 period ahead of reaching Mars by February 2021.

The rocket features a 541 configuration and will be powered by Aerojet Rocketdyne's RL-10 cryogenic engine and AJ-60 motors.

During the “Launch Vehicle on Stand” preparation phase, ULA and NASA will conduct final integration activities for Atlas V's Centaur III upper stage and first-stage booster at Cape Canaveral’s Space Launch Complex-4.

Last month, the rocket launched Boeing’s X-37B spaceplane for the U.S. Space Force's USSF-7 orbital test vehicle mission.

ULA has supported NASA’s prior Mars exploration rover missions including Insight, Opportunity and Spirit, according to the report.

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