On September 28, technicians and engineers conducted a successful separation testing at Jet Propulsion Laboratory located in California. While talking to the press, Ryan van Schilifgaarde stated that firing of pyrotechnic devices which hold the rover as well as descent stage and conducting post-test inspection for both the vehicles took whole day.
Schilifgaarde also stated that since the tests were conducted, descent stage and rover can go different ways for a time being. He also stated that rover as well as descent stage will get attached to each other at Cape at the time of final assembly. By the end of this year, descent stage as well as rover will get shipped to Florida.
Before the shipping process, the engineers are set to conduct different sets of tests on Mars 2020 viz. evaluation of mechanical and computer system and to figure out whether they can bear hostile condition of Mars or not. These tests are termed as Surface Thermal Test which see the condition of car-sized vehicle when it is put through temperatures as well as atmospheric pressure which are similar to those of Mars.
For Mars 2020 rover, JPL will take control of various operations. The launching of rover will take place with the help of United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket during the month of July 2020 from Space Launch Complex 41, situated in Florida.
After the landing of rover at Mars’ Jezero Crater which will take place on February 18, 2021. It will become the first spacecraft which has an ability to retarget touchdown point accurately while it is still in landing sequence.
Through Artemis lunar program of NASA, it is planned to establish human presence around and on the Moon till 2028. One of the researchers stated that whatever they had learnt on the surface of moon they will use it to send their astronauts to the red planet.