The up coming Atlas V to launch a mission to Mars is at the launch web-site, as United Start Alliance (ULA) moved by means of “Launch Automobile on Stand (LVOS)” functions for NASA’s Mars 2020 mission. The preparations are becoming done at Area Launch Elaborate-41 or SLC-41 at Cape Canaveral Air Drive Station (CCAFS).
The pad circulation has started not extended following the rocket experienced arrived in Florida.
The booster arrived into the Cape from Decatur, Alabama on May possibly 18 on an Antonov-124, flown by Volga-Dnepr Airlines.
Generally, ULA’s transport ship, called the R/S RocketShip – launched in 1999 and was beforehand recognised as the M/V Delta Mariner – delivers the booster to the Cape. However, since the ship was in the Pacific Ocean at the time, the chartered aircraft was utilized.
Once the Atlas V booster was offloaded from the Antonov-124, it was moved from the CCAFS Skid Strip to the Atlas Spaceflight Functions Center. It was saved there till the booster was needed for LVOS functions at SLC-41.
Right after the booster was in posture next to the VIF, a cell crane raised the booster off of the trailer. Then, an overhead crane atop the VIF and the ground managing fixture bit by bit lifted the 107-foot booster to the vertical place.
The crane then assisted the Atlas V booster even more into the VIF. Soon immediately after the booster was reduced onto its location on the Cell Launch Platform (MLP). ULA professionals then secured the booster to the MLP by itself.
Previously in May possibly, the MLP and SLC-41 nominally introduced the USSF-seven mission for the United States Room Force. The mission carried the leading-top secret Boeing X-37B spaceplane on an Atlas V 501.
SLC-41 earlier launched the Titan III and Titan IV rockets, with the initially launch getting in 1965. The advanced has been exclusively utilized for Atlas V launches due to the fact the Sizzling Hen six start in 2002, which was the inaugural Atlas V launch.
The introduction of the Atlas V in 2002 marked a spectacular change in the Atlas rocket household. Contrary to the preceding Atlas III variant, the Atlas V does not use strain stabilized tanks. Rather, the Atlas has as what ULA calls a “common-core” booster.
In 2021, one more evolution in ULA’s rocket family will be on-line, as the Vulcan rocket conducts its inaugural launch from SLC-41.
The Atlas V for the Mars 2020 mission will fly in the 541 configuration, which implies that the rocket will sport a five meter fairing, 4 Aerojet Rocketdyne AJ-60 reliable rocket motors, and a single Aerojet Rocketdyne RL-10 engine on the Centaur III upper stage. The serial quantity for this Atlas V rocket is AV-088.
The Centaur higher stage has been utilised due to the fact its 1st launch on an Atlas rocket in Might 1962. On the other hand, like the Atlas rocket, the Centaur has been through numerous modifications. The RL-10 engine operates on Liquid Hydrogen and Liquid Oxygen. Centaur will carry on to fly even soon after Atlas has been retired in the sort of the improved Centaur V on the Vulcan rocket.
The Aerojet Rocketdyne AJ-60s will ultimately be replaced by GEM-63 strong rocket motors which are getting built by Northrop Grumman.
The Atlas V configuration for Mars 2020 is the exact same that was applied for the Mars Science Laboratory (MSL/Curiosity) mission, which landed the rover at Gale Crater in 2012. The design for the Perseverance rover is based on the layout that was utilised for Curiosity.
Even so, in contrast to the Curiosity rover, Perseverance will also carry an experimental helicopter, referred to as Ingenuity.
ULA and its heritage companies have introduced every solitary United States mission to Mars. The first two American missions to Mars, Viking 1 and 2 also launched from SLC-41.
Other earlier Mars missions released by ULA contain the Mars Exploration Rovers Spirit and Possibility, and the most the latest NASA mission to Mars, Perception.
At the moment, the Perseverance rover is positioned at the Payload Dangerous Servicing Facility at NASA’s Kennedy Area Heart.
The rover has been integrated with Ingenuity and the Descent and Entry Car assemblies.
In the coming months, extra preparations will be carried out on the Atlas V inside the VIF. The Centaur III higher stage will be rolled in excess of to the VIF at SLC-41. The identical goes for the 4 Aerojet Rocketdyne AJ-60s, which will be connected to the first phase booster.
The encapsulated payload will arrive at the VIF at SLC-41 just after the boosters and the Centaur III is built-in into the Atlas V rocket.
The pre-start routine has been on a important route, supplied the COVID-19 condition. The Mars 2020 mission has to make the July 17 to Aug 11 launch window for the mission to get to Mars in Feb 2021.
If all goes to program, the landing website for the Perseverance rover is Jezero Crater.