This is the launch timeline to be followed by the Atlas 5 rocket’s ascent into space from Cape Canaveral with NASA’s Mars 2020 mission. Launch is scheduled for Thursday during a two-hour window opening at 7:50 a.m. EDT (1150 GMT).
The 197-foot-tall rocket will arc to the southeast from Florida’s Space Coast on its fourth flight of the year. It will be the 85th Atlas 5 launch overall since United Launch Alliance’s workhorse rocket debuted in August 2002.
The timeline below ends with the conclusion of the primary mission, the deployment of the Mars 2020 spacecraft on an interplanetary trajectory toward Mars
A video overview of the Atlas 5 launch sequence also describes the major milestones on the Mars 2020 mission, and a map below shows the Atlas 5’s expected ground track toward the southeast from Cape Canaveral, culminating in separation of the Mars 2020 spacecraft from the Centaur upper stage over Indonesia.
A SpaceX Falcon 9 launcher boosted a 4.7-ton military-grade communications satellite for SES and the Luxembourg government toward a perch 22,300 miles over the equator following a spectacular late afternoon liftoff Tuesday from Florida’s Space Coast, clearing the last mission off the launch company’s manifest before the long-awaited debut of the massive Falcon Heavy rocket.
A Japanese space probe picked up just the right amount of speed when it flew by Earth earlier this month, using the planet’s gravity to slingshot toward an asteroid scientists think is a primordial leftover from the ancient solar system, mission managers said Monday.
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