Thursday’s launch of the Mars Perseverance rover was a huge success for NASA and its partners across the country and right in our own backyard.
Caleb Fassett is a planetary scientist at Marshall Space Flight Center who discovered the rover’s landing site, and Marshall’s Angie Jackman is the project manager for the Mars Ascent Vehicle, the rocket that will take the soil and rock samples from Perseverance into space to return to Earth as part of the Mars Sample Return Mission.
Perseverance was launched on an Atlas V made by United Launch Alliance in Decatur. This was ULA’s 140th consecutive successful launch. Additionally, Tuscaloosa County High School junior Vaneeza Rupani submitted the winning name for Ingenuity, the helicopter that will test the concept of powered flight on Mars.
Follow Perseverance as it travels to Mars for a landing in February 2021 at mars.nasa.gov/mars2020.
By Lucia Cape
Senior VP of Economic Development, Industry Relations & Workforce
Huntsville/Madison County Chamber