News

Mars 2020 rover on track for launch next July

31 July 2019 Stephen Clark

The launch of NASA’s Mars 2020 rover is less than a year away, and the steady pace of work inside the craft’s pristine assembly hall in California is keeping the mission on schedule for liftoff from Cape Canaveral next July, despite growing costs, according to mission managers.

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NASA’s Mars 2020 rover looking more and more like a rover

28 July 2019 Astronomy Now

NASA’s Mars 2020 rover, scheduled for launch on 17 July 2020, is rapidly maturing at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, where engineers recently tested the spacecraft’s multi-joint robot arm as critical instruments and other systems are installed and tested.

Observing

See Mercury and Mars get close at dusk on 18 June

5 June 2019 Ade Ashford

On 18 June at the end of civil twilight in the UK, planets Mars and Mercury lie slightly less than one-quarter of a degree apart in the constellation of Gemini. Observing this conjunction will be a challenge from the UK as the pair will be just 5 degrees high in the west-northwest at civil dusk in bright twilight, which is about 50 minutes after sunset for London.