NASA has announced plans to hold a big live-stream briefing this week about its Perseverance (“Mars 2020”) rover and the related mission, the space agency said on Monday. The briefing will take place on June 17 and include a number of experts and officials, including NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine and NASA’s Planetary Science Division director Lori Glaze.
The Perseverance rover is the latest NASA rover destined for life on the Red Planet; it will, as with the rovers before it, pack a number of instruments for exploring Mars, but it’ll bring some entirely new equipment, as well. NASA is sending an experimental helicopter with Perseverance, for example, to see how it handles flight on the planet.
The rover weighs a massive 2,300lbs and will be primarily tasked with helping researchers look for evidence of past microbial life on Mars. Among other things, Perseverance will use its instruments to collect various soil and rock samples, package them up in tubes, and then leave them in a spot on Mars where a future mission will grab them and ship them back to Earth.
In an announcement on Monday, NASA said that it will hold at briefing specifically about this rover on June 17 (this Wednesday) at 2 PM EDT / 11 AM PDT. We don’t know exactly what NASA plans for the briefing, but it does mention that it will ‘preview’ the upcoming mission during its conference.
The public will be able to stream this briefing from a number of destinations, including NASA TV, the NASA website, YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, and Ustream. The space agency still expects to launch the Perseverance rover from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station on July 20 at 9:15 AM ET. Assuming everything goes according to plan, the rover will reach Mars on February 18, 2021.