NASA's upcoming Mars rover mission is delayed. The launch is postponed by a few days due to some technical issues.
According to the latest update, NASA's new Mars rover Perseverance will now be launched on July 20. Originally, the mission was planned to kickstart on July 17. However, issues with ground system equipment have forced the space agency to push the launch to a future date.
The announcement was made on NASA's official website wherein they specified that the launch is now scheduled for 9:15 am ET on Saturday. However, there remains a two-hour window for the release of Mars-bound rover into space on an Atlas V rocket from Space Launch Complex-41 on Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida.
"Additional time was needed for the team to repair an issue with the ground system equipment. The launch is scheduled for 9:15 a.m. ET with a two-hour window" reads the update on NASA blog.
Meanwhile, FOX News contacted a NASA spokesperson for further clarification on the delay of the launch. In an email, the spokesperson told the publication that the date of launch was rescheduled because "agency's rocket contractor had an issue with a crane, which has since been resolved." Also, it was clarified that the postponement has nothing to do with the coronavirus pandemic.
The same was confirmed by United Launch Alliance CEO Tory Bruno in a tweet.
"Controller fault. Typical Atlas SRB Operations are about 1 day per SRB (Vulcan is much faster). The crane repair cost us about 3 days," Bruno said in reply to a Twitter user.
Manufactured by NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Perseverance is identical in design to the NASA's Curiosity rover that was launched from Cape Canaveral in 2011 and landed in Aeolis Palus on Mars on August 6, 2012. Meanwhile, for now, Perseverance's landing is scheduled for February 18, 2021, on Jezero Crater, Mars. The mission's main objective remains the search for signs of ancient life on the red planet and collection of rock and soil samples for a possible return to Earth, according to NASA.