NASA To Build Mars 2020 Rover—Latest Report


A webcam has been installed at NASA’s JPL that offers the general public live view as NASA builds its Mars 2020 model rover. JPL technicians and engineers will be assembling and testing it before launching it off to Mars, a mission that is among the top most technologically difficult interplanetary missions in history. John McNamee who is a project manager at the mission stated that he was often at the rover’s clean room as there was a lot of activity going on. He said it was good that the public could access the mission’s events at any time.

Named Seeing 2020, a live feed of the rover being built is provided from the viewpoint of a gallery located above the room’s floor. Participation and chats with the crew are also possible. They’ll answer queries from the general public. These web chats are scheduled for Mondays through Thursdays at 4 PM and 11 AM PDT. There will also be specially moderated chats on the occasion of special events like drive testing.

Work usually kicks off on the Rover at 8 AM. Most work is done on the rover and related components. The cruise stage setups, back shell, and descent stage setup have been completed, assembled & tested. It might appear that the room is empty while assembly activities shift to other facilities at JPL. Work on the rover may also be done off camera at some other areas of the same room. Technical or maintenance issues can also force the camera to remain off.

Mere months are left before the rover is shipped off to the Kennedy Center, located in Florida. Launch window for the mission opens from July 17 of next year. After arriving in 2021, the rover is scheduled to check for habitable conditions & evidence of life. It will also collect various samples of soil and rocks on the planet, and store them in several sample tubes.

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