Skip to main content

Watch NASA’s Mars 2020 ‘movie trailer’ with Perseverance as the star

Pitching the upcoming Mars 2020 mission as a kind of blockbuster sci-fi flick, NASA has released a “movie trailer” (below) for the much-anticipated launch currently slated for July 30.

The Perseverance rover is clearly the star of the show, though a cameo appearance by the Ingenuity helicopter, which is also heading to Mars with its rover buddy, threatens to steal the limelight from the headline act when it becomes the first-ever aircraft to fly on another planet.

This summer, we’re launching the largest, heaviest, and most sophisticated vehicle ever sent to the Red Planet — the @NASAPersevere rover.

Liftoff is targeted for July 30. Will you be watching? https://t.co/YhGoY52sxX #CountdownToMars pic.twitter.com/E2lXs0E0Pg

— NASA (@NASA) July 13, 2020

Following a number of delays in recent weeks, Perseverance and Ingenuity are set to blast off from Cape Canaveral in Florida aboard a United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket in just 16 days’ time.

Weighing 2,260 pounds (1,025 kg) and packed with advanced scientific instruments, NASA is describing Perseverance as “the largest, heaviest, and most sophisticated vehicle” that it has ever sent to Mars.

The journey to the distant planet is expected to take about seven months. Once Perseverance sets down on the Martian surface, the six-wheel rover will search for signs of ancient life, collect rock and soil samples for possible return to Earth, and help prepare for future human exploration.

Ingenuity, on the other hand, will search for potentially interesting research sites on the planet and collect data for mapping routes for future Mars rovers. The camera-equipped helicopter weighs a mere 4 pounds (1.8 kg) and to get airborne uses four rotors, each one a little longer than a meter. Its smarts are contained in a small box-like fuselage that also holds the aircraft’s downward-facing camera. The flying machine will draw power from its solar cells and batteries, and an internal heater will help it deal with Mars’ bitterly cold nights.

In recent days, Perseverance and Ingenuity were placed carefully inside the rocket’s nose cone and then hoisted onto the top of the rocket as part of final preparations for the July 30 launch.

If poor weather or other issues prevent the launch from taking place as currently scheduled, NASA will have other opportunities within the launch window, which runs until August 15.

Editors' Recommendations

Trevor Mogg
Contributing Editor
Not so many moons ago, Trevor moved from one tea-loving island nation that drives on the left (Britain) to another (Japan)…
NASA astronauts need good weather for Crew-8 launch. Here’s how it’s looking
A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket during a static fire test.

UPDATE: SpaceX and NASA are now targeting 11:16 p.m. ET on Saturday, March 2 for the launch of Crew-8.

SpaceX is preparing to launch three NASA astronauts and one Roscosmos cosmonaut to the International Space Station (ISS).

Read more
Relive Mars rover’s spectacular landing exactly 3 years ago
NASA's Perserverance Mars rover.

A screenshot from actual footage of NASA's Perseverance rover landing on Mars in 2021. NASA/JPL

It’s exactly three years since NASA’s rover, Perseverance, touched down on Mars in spectacular fashion.

Read more
NASA is looking for volunteers for yearlong simulated Mars mission
The CHAPEA mission 1 crew (from left: Nathan Jones, Ross Brockwell, Kelly Haston, Anca Selariu) exit a prototype of a pressurized rover and make their way to the CHAPEA facility ahead of their entry into the habitat on June 25, 2023.

If you've ever wanted to visit Mars, then NASA has an offer for you. Though the agency isn't sending humans to the red planet quite yet, it is preparing for a future crewed Mars mission by creating a simulated mission here on Earth -- and it's looking for volunteers.

Simulated missions look at people's psychological and health responses to conditions similar to what astronauts would experience on a deep space mission. In the case of the Mars mission, called Crew Health and Performance Exploration Analog or CHAPEA, the aim is to simulate a Martian environment using a 3D-printed habitat and a set of Mars-related tasks that crew members must perform.

Read more