NASA sends rover named Perseverance to Mars

Perseverance will gather rock and soil samples for future return to Earth


CAPE CANAVERAL, Florida – Perseverance is NASA’s latest Red Planet rover, designed to search for astrobiological evidence of ancient microbial life on Mars. Following a seven-month journey, it will land at Jezero Crater on Feb. 18, 2021. There, Perseverance will gather rock and soil samples for future return to Earth. It also will characterize the planet’s climate and geology and pave the way for human exploration of the Red Planet. The robotic scientist, which weighs just under 2,300 pounds (1,043 kilograms), also will carry the Ingenuity Mars Helicopter, a technology demonstration that marks the first attempt at powered, controlled flight on another planet.

Members of the public can attend the launch virtually, receiving mission updates, and opportunities normally received by on-site guests. NASA’s virtual launch experience for Mars 2020 Perseverance rover includes: a behind-the-scenes look at the mission; augmented reality filters; access to an engaging NASA social community; an invitation to submit videos to be part of the televised launch broadcast; tool kits for student; a chance to take a souvenir photo in our Mars Photo Booth; and the opportunity to send your name to Mars!

“More than 112,000 people registered to be our virtual guests for NASA’s SpaceX Demo-2 test flight launch in May, which was the first time the agency had offered this type of launch experience to the public,” said NASA Associate Administrator for Communications Bettina Inclán. “For our Mars 2020 Perseverance rover launch, we hope even more people will join us as we #CountdownToMars!”

To participate, members of the public can register to stay up-to-date on mission information, mission highlights, and interaction opportunities. To find out more, visit:

Members of the public also can share in the journey through a variety of activities, including:

Virtual NASA Social

NASA will host a global “NASA Social,” an opportunity for social media users to get a behind-the-scenes view of the Perseverance launch. The NASA Social will be held virtually via a public Facebook group, so people of all ages from all over the world can request permission to join us for a behind-the-scenes look at the mission. Registration is open on Facebook. All social applications will be considered on a case-by-case basis. Live opportunities will begin one day prior to the launch date. Learn more at: