Watch NASA's Perseverance Rover Launch to Mars!
That, you can make it real. And here we are with mars perseverance. 51, years later getting ready to do the first ever, mars, return, mission. Eventually. We can bring those samples, back to earth, and determine, for the very first time. Did life exist on mars. In less than an hour nasa's. 300. Million, mile journey, from america's, shore, to jezreel, crater on mars. Will begin with the launch, of this, atlas, v rocket, into space. And at the top of that rocket, with a beautiful, sunrise. And shrouded, by that protective, fairing. Is the perseverance. Rover, headed to mars. Ready to ride a column of fire and smoke. On its way to the red planet. What a beautiful morning, here on the space coast. Welcome everyone. Behind, us, the star of the show. This, is a life-size. Mock-up, of the perseverance. Rover, which is just like the one, we are launching to space. Hi everyone, i'm daryl nail and i'm mooji, cooper. In the 50 minutes leading up to launch we will show you how this mission will reach, and search for ancient microscopic, life on mars, and test new technologies. Critical to the ultimate goal. Future human missions to mars, that's right and we've got the rocket on the pad and it is ready to go a beautiful, day outside, we're, l minus 47. Minutes, and counting. Until, launch and so far, the countdown, to mars, is on track we've got great weather, the rocket's looking good, and it puts us on track for a launch, at 7, 50, a.m, eastern, time, the beginning. Of a two-hour, window. In today's coverage, we will hear grammy award winner gregory, porter. We'll talk live with derek muller of the youtube channel veritasium. Along with the aerospace, engineers, scientist, and a nasa, astronaut, oh it's going to be a great show, i love it, i love it and we have teams from coast to coast folks, helping us count down to mars we will go live to the atlas space flight operations, center, just a few miles away from us, and we'll go live to california. To jets, the jet propulsion laboratory. Where the mars 2020, mission team is standing by to communicate with perseverance. After it gets to space. And of course we are here to tell you what the perseverance. Mission. Is all about. It's an exciting, day for all of us here so we want to walk you through what you will see next during the countdown. And the rocket launch so, let's send it over to joshua, santora, and mick woltman. Who are with the ula. And launch services, program, teams, gentlemen. Hey good morning daryl i'm joshua santora and i am here at atlas, space flight. Operations, center, joined by mick waltman from nasa's launch services program. Mick you excited to go to mars i am excited to go to mars this morning josh this is a great day, the, sunrise. Out there looks awesome on this rocket, and, ready for a great launch today thanks for having me on the show man happy to have you along providing a ton of good context as we go through. Before we dive into the story of perseverance, we want to give you a preview, of what's ahead today. In the countdown. Things really got going this morning just after midnight, actually, and atlas 5 is just about ready to fly. In a few more minutes we're going to get the final check of the weather, and that weather report, should be coming back really positive it's been great, um all morning, we have the terminal count ahead after that, uh we will be proceeding, through, uh the last few minutes of the countdown. And then the, the drama will be at its peak at launch, when the clock strikes zero the engines ignite and the spacecraft, and rocket. Take flight. After successfully, passing through max q just, shy of two minutes into flight, the solid rocket boosters will be expended, and will be jettisoned. Nearly two more minutes and the payload fairing what you might call the nose cone of the rocket. That has been protecting perseverance. Will no longer be needed, it will split in two halves and fall away from the accelerating, vehicle. One minute later the atlas booster will have finished its task of lifting perseverance, above earth's atmosphere. And being on the way to orbit. It too will separate, exposing, the centaur, rl10. Upper stage, engine that will almost immediately begin, its first burn, that lasts approximately, seven minutes. After coasting for more than 30 minutes the second burn, lasting around eight minutes will take perseverance, out of earth orbit and into solar orbit on its way to mars.
That Sets up spacecraft, separation, and the final milestone, we're hoping to hear this morning. The acquisition, of signal and i say hoping to intentionally. Because it's quite possible, that perseverance, will be in perfect condition. But we won't make contact, during the broadcast. So. Lots more to come lots ahead but daryl we're going to throw back over to you now to tell us more about this amazing mission, all right thank you joshua, and mick we've got a lot of really smart people, and talented, people that we're going to be talking to today but, let's begin. With uh, a scientist who's coming up in just a bit i want to talk a little bit, about. Mujiga. Cooper who's here, she is a planetary. Protection, lead for this mission. Uh thank you so much you've been working on this for a while now yes, this has been seven years in the making, and i'm so excited to share this moment with you, and with those that are viewing today, i'm just, ecstatic, it's fantastic. And we're in a launch period people probably want to know why are we launching today why are we launching right now. Um, we're in a period that only comes around once every two years yeah explain that the orbits of earth and mars are on the same side of the sun so that we can reach that destination, with less fuel, so it's the best, time, short journey less power, we like that and we're studying the climate the geology, and, searching, for ancient, life but, what kind of life are we talking about here well when we search we're not going to find dinosaur, fossils, right we're like. Unfortunately. Likely we're going to find it in the form of microscopic. Life. We're hoping ancient life we're hoping. We don't know if it's there right yeah i don't know, okay well that's why we're going yeah all right thank you very much moo, and back here on earth, our friends at twitter are celebrating, mars 2020, in a very, special, way we want to let you know about check this out if you type, if you tap the like icon, on any tweet, containing, the hashtag. Countdown, to mars. You'll see an animation. Brighten, up your, screen. You can check it out also the like button itself, has a special little animation, that you can see oh right there in the corner see that, did you see. That. It will also work in any language. From our partner countries, including, spanish. French. Norwegian. And italian. Wow, that is pretty incredible. Yeah, and despite, the daunting, challenges, nasa has a long history of missions to mars, going all the way back to 1965. With the mariner 4 spacecraft. Yeah we've covered a lot of ground on mars since then so let's head out to california. And join jpl's, raquel, via nueva. Raquel, what can you share about our history, of exploring, mars. Well daryl, in the past, we explored the red planet with orbiters, and landers. But it was the ability, to move around mars with rovers. That truly helped unlock, its secrets. Today i'm joined by perseverance, deputy, project manager, jennifer trosper. She has worked on every, single, mars rover mission, for the past, three, decades. Now jennifer, how does today's, launch fit into the history, of exploring, mars. Well we have always been interested, in mars, because. It's the thing that's most like earth that we know of, and it's a little bit different today, and so understanding, what happened to mars, will help us understand more about our solar system. And also more about earth. Now as, as we said mars exploration, started in 1965. With the mariner spacecraft, flying by mars. And in 1975. We actually landed the viking one lander. On the surface, of mars. And then after that. We started, sending, orbiters, with, more sophisticated. Instruments. Those instruments, would do global, mapping. They'd find the minerals. They'd find the topography. Of mars they'd actually study the weather of mars but we found, out. That those orbiters, needed partners. They needed partners, to go down to the surface of mars and explore like a geologist, on earthwood. Where he walks around, and takes pictures. And, maybe she takes some measurements. That's what these rovers needed to do and that's really what started the mars rover program, for us.
Our Very first rover we sent in 1997. It was a sojourner, rover. Sojourner, weighed about 25, pounds. And drove all of about 400, feet. But she really, showed us, what value a rover on mars could have. And so then the mars program, started the follow the water theme to try to understand, mars better. And the first two rovers, that were sent to mars to follow the rover. Were spirit and opportunity. They landed on opposite sides of mars in 2004. And they drove, 30 miles, combined. And they both found evidence, that there had been water on mars, in the past. But we still weren't sure. Whether that water fostered an environment. That was good for life. And so then we sent curiosity. In 2012.. The curiosity, rover was big it had a big robotic, arm it had a drill it had a science lab in the front. And curiosity. Was trying to understand, the habitability. Of mars. Could mars have ever fostered, life, could life have ever grown, on mars. And within months. Of curiosity. Landing on the surface. She actually, found an ancient, habitable, environment. On mars. But we still don't know if life ever did form on mars, and that's the goal of the perseverance. Mission. Wow, thanks jennifer. And, now that we understand, how each rover mission helps shape the other. Let's get to know perseverance. You know mars, is the closest. Place, that we can reach with robotic, exploration. That we think had a really good chance of having ancient life. The perseverance, rover will land, at a location called jezreel, crater. Jezreel crater is a very interesting, place. It's a crater, that once held a lake. There are a lot of craters, on the surface of mars that could have once hosted, ancient lakes, but not every crater that we think had a lake, actually preserves, evidence, that that lake was there, it had an inflow channel, and it had an outflow channel, that means it was filled the crater was filled. With water, in jezra, we have, probably one of the most beautifully, preserved, delta deposits. On mars, in that crater. The major goal, of the perseverance, mission, is, to.
Investigate. Astrobiology. On mars in particular. To address the question of whether life ever existed. On mars. The perseverance, rover starts with a design that's very similar to curiosity, but we've added to it a whole new set of science instruments. And these science instruments, were purposefully. Selected. To help us in the search for biosignatures. We're going to be taking. Microphones. With us, for the first time. We're going to have. That human, sense, on another planet. Perseverance. Carries with her a grand experiment. In space, fairing, technology. A, helicopter. The name of which, is now, ingenuity. One of the major upgrades, that perseverance. Has, from curiosity. Is that it's able to self-drive. For a distance, of up to 200, meters, per day. As the rover is driving, it's literally, building, the map, of the road it's driving, on on mars. Scientists, for years have told us that to really, unlock. The secrets of mars we have to bring samples, from mars back to earth, so what marsh 2020. Is going to do, is to. Drill samples. Put them in, small tubes. We're going to seal it in its own individual, tube. We set them on the surface. To provide a target, for the second two missions. Which hopefully will get in development. In the next several years and could potentially, get the samples back, to earth by 2031.. Perseverance. Is a very, very. Profound. First step. In, both our understanding. Of our place. In the universe. And. A stepping stone, towards human exploration, of. Ours. And a great breakdown, of the rover there welcome back to the kennedy space center in florida, where our next mars rover will be propelled, into space. By an atlas 5 rocket, and a man who leads the company tasked with safely, getting perseverance. Off this planet. Is tory bruno he is the ceo, and president, of united launch alliance, we appreciate you being here tony, this morning, oh happy to be here how are the launch team, how is the launch team doing how are you doing. Well the launch team is doing great, they've been on station, for hours, they're calm, they're confident, they're going through the script. I'm a little nervous but i always get nervous before, all of my 400, launches so far wow you get a little why do you get nervous.
Well You know a rocket is such an incredibly. Powerful, and complex, machine. Everything, has to go right, nothing can go wrong. And. It's just it never gets old it's always the same it's always exciting, yes and this is a particularly, exciting, mission, talk a little bit about that this is the largest. And heaviest, rover. That, we've ever sent to the red planet so how did you configure, your rocket. To do this launch effectively, yeah this is our second most powerful, atlas, the 541. We call it the dominator. It's got four giant, srbs. Each putting out, 350. 000 pounds of thrust to augment, the center core. And so it has got the power, to get out there to mars. As well as the precision, it's the most accurate, rocket in the world, because when we let it go, it's got about 200. Million, miles, to travel, on that transfer, orbit, and precision, is key that is right, yes, so the power source for the mars rover is a contained, radioactive, battery i've seen it up close and we had to alter the way we behaved around that, how has that changed your team's efforts. Oh yes the operations. Around that are completely, different, now we have a lot of experience, with these we've flown all of america's, rtgs. And we're the only provider, that is certified, to handle them, but you know it is still 11, pounds of plutonium. As you saw. And in this particular, case the one very special, thing, was to install, it in the vif. Where we would normally, never breach the containment, around the spacecraft. Because it has to be clean and biological. Free. But we created a portable, clean room, and brought this nuclear, battery, out and installed, it in the machine. While keeping, everything. Perfect. Awesome, can you explain what the diff is actually, before i let that go this is the vertical, integration, facility. So these rockets, are so gigantic. We build them in a factory but we can't assemble, them there yeah atlas, and perseverance. Are standing, 20, stories, proud, right now in the pad. So they come to here on they come to, canaveral, in pieces. On our rocket ship, and then we assemble, them in the vertical, integration, facility. And normally, the last thing would be to bring an encapsulated. Under the fairing. Perfectly, clean and prepared, spacecraft. And put it on top, which we did, but then we opened it to install, the mm, rtg. Battery. And that came late in the process, and that was intentional. Yeah. You mentioned there's a certification. For who certifies, the rocket. So nasa, certifies, the rocket, and then nasa and the department of energy, certify, a provider, like us, to handle a nuclear, payload. Because of all these special, requirements. Very good you know when you were preparing for this mission, you couldn't have, imagined. Uh you know a year ago that you would have. A coronavirus. Pandemic, oh yes wreaking havoc on this state. How did you uh. Handle that and how did you overcome, it. Yes well you know the one big lesson learned here is you can't buy back time. So when this broke out our response, was early it was aggressive. And fortunately, it was effective. So we did all the things you might be familiar, with you know we wipe down every surface every hour we deep clean every, evening, we are wearing, ppe. We have our teams spread, out, we actually change the flow of the work to keep our people, safe. But to also keep these vitally, important, missions, going. And of course i can't say enough, about our team. They're so disciplined, and so courageous. To persevere. Through all of this. And now to make our third launch, under all of these mitigations. I'm just so proud of them. Well, tori bruno ceo, of united launch alliance we appreciate you being here, sharing your knowledge with us, good luck with the rocket launch today and enjoy it.
Thank You very much go atlas, go perseverance. All right. The countdown to mars is well underway. Let's go to our launch commentator, team for an update on the pre-launch, efforts and a weather forecast, joshua. Hey thanks moo operations, this morning have been really pretty quiet. Uh can you tell us what's transpired, to get the rocket to the point that it is today right at this moment, yeah actually josh it's great to be have a quiet countdown this morning that means really good things for us here in the asoc. But the teams did come on station today about midnight. They got on station started configuring, the launch vehicle getting it ready for fueling, as we've been listening to them, fuel the first stage atlas, with locks and the second stage, centaur, upper stage with cryogenics. The team continues, to do that they've checked out the avionics, electrical, systems, they've also done a. Flight termination, system check with the range, so all systems are looking 101, the team is now currently in their t-minus, four and holding. And just assessing the telemetry, and the launch vehicle as we get ready to lift off this morning. Yeah and it is a programmed, hold um so this is part of the plan this is not anything going wrong. We do have a two-hour window today but everything is charging ahead towards that 7 50 a.m eastern. Lift-off, time we want to introduce you to a few of the teams involved this morning we want to start with, the u.s, space force. They're responsible, for the range operations, and weather activities. Um so, tell me about the range really fast before we get this weather briefing in just a few seconds yes the united states space force is responsible, for public and personnel, safety here at cape canaveral air force station and kennedy space center where we're launching from, so very important part of the mission today they are one of five teams that are working with us. To launch mars perseverance, on its way this morning. And an important part of that not only public safety, but is they also do weather for us to make sure that everything looks good as we saw that sunrise, this morning come up, right behind. Everything. Is looking good so, rclc. Conducted by the briefing on channel 8 weather conference. Roger. Sorry, we thought we were going to get that for you live and apparently, the audio, is on another channel forgive us we should be looking at a visible, satellite, image we have now mostly clear skies. A few clouds, off to the east over the water. We were monitoring. One cell, on the radar. 10 miles to our southeast, which has dissipated, so things are looking great for launch. We are go on all lccs, and expected to remain go through the count. Our temperature, is currently 80 degrees. Could climb to 82, by the end of the window winds are currently, from, two to zero eight not sustained, with peaks to 10 knots. 10, pov, for the cumulus, cloud rule. Proton flux is at normal background levels and expected to remain so through the count, this concludes the weather brief unless there are any questions. All right so. I think we're in good shape uh we heard a great report there. Again hearing the go on all, lcc's. Launch, uh absolutely. Lcc, launch command come right launch commitment, criteria, i can never remember the second c, i appreciate that so, uh tell us about the t clock because obviously we mentioned we're at t minus four minutes and holding. So we have a difference here in these two clocks today yes so the teams actually are working to two different clocks the l clock or what we call the launch time or l minus time, is the real time clock which continues, to count down towards liftoff. T time that's the clock that the team uses for operational, sequences, of events. In the procedure. This time has built-in. Holds in it one of which we're in right now 30-minute, hold, which allows the team to adjust, things, that they need to do throughout, the, countdown, tonight. So the l clock will continue, counting down and what's unique about this is that l minus four or t minus four as we pick up the count, these two clocks will sync up and we will count down to lift off this morning. One of the things we want to kind of piggyback off of the weather briefing for us to talk about the power source for perseverance.
Perseverance, Actually has a nuclear, battery. Which, uh that might be a little bit alarming for people to hear that um it's not a nuclear reactor it's a nuclear, battery. And it's actually something that has been developed. By the department of energy for this kind of a purpose it's a multi-mission. Radioisotope. Thermoelectric. Generator. Which is a mouthful. But it's an mmrtg. It's roughly the size of a five gallon bucket. And it is designed, to actually make, how does this actually produce power for the robot, so it's using, a. Nuclear material, inside right to generate. The electricity, that's there, starting off the mission today it'll be about 110. Watts of power that provides the spacecraft, as we lift off, and it'll provide power for mars perseverance. Throughout its whole mission life, so that's the unique thing about this battery, source that's it's pretty neat, is that that, it will continue, for the whole time yeah, the atlas 5 has a perfect launch, record um so it's in good shape, so we're not expecting any problems but if there were a contingency, today, we'd want you to stay with us to talk through some of the details and we'll be providing, advisories, we have teams that have been focused on this specifically and they're working towards, making sure that everybody is safe, and, our robotic explorers, are safe as well so, that's going to do it for now a great weather briefing we'll send it back over to you to daryl and moo. Thanks joshua, with the countdown to mars well underway, we want to take a moment, to honor our country with the singing of america the beautiful, we are proud to present, to you now, two-time. Grammy award-winning, singer. Gregory, porter. Lori glaze, come on down. Good. Morning. Of. Grains. Majesty. The. Fruited. Plain. Americans. America. God. Sent, his. Grace. From, sea. To. Shining. God. Sent, his. Grace. See. The beautiful, baritone. Voice of, grammy, award-winning. Singer, gregory, porter, that was. Outstanding. It was so emotional. Ah, if i could launch the rocket right now after that see some rockets red red glare. Perfect. Thank you very much mr porter we appreciate, that. So perseverance. Will seek to unlock, many mysteries, about mars but remote, scientific. Instruments. Can only go so far, joining us now to talk about returning mars samples, back to earth, is dr lori glaze, director, of nasa's planetary, science division, thank you so much for joining us today it's my pleasure happy to be here yeah. First can you talk to us about the value, of studying mars samples, here on earth. You bet, so, one of the most exciting parts of this mission of course is that we're going to drill samples, that we're going to go back to mars and pick up and bring back to earth, and part of the reason for that is, the main reason is that we can only go so far with the instruments that we have on the rover, they're wonderful, it's a great suite but nothing compared, to the state-of-the-art.
Instruments, In the laboratories, around the world. So we really want to get those precious samples, back here so that we can do that, really, in-depth, analysis. Of the samples, here. In addition to that, not only, do we want to study them now today, with those state-of-the-art. Instruments, and facilities. We can preserve, actually most of the sample, for decades. And that will allow us to. Use, uh future instruments that haven't even been invented yet, or. You know answer questions we haven't even thought of yet so that's it's really important to get those samples back here, and. Could we confirm, life, if, if it is there, with, the instruments we have on the rover or would that actually actually happen back on earth, i fully expect we won't be able to make that real determination, until they're back here on earth we expect with the instruments, we have on board to be able to detect, bio signatures. And the types of things that say yes this is a sample that may contain. Evidence, of past life, in the sample. But i think it would be very difficult to confirm that until we actually get the samples back here on earth speaking, of getting them back here to earth. The key part of this how will you do that, that's a great question. We're already, starting work on that next mission called marsh sample return. We think it's going to launch we're planning for a launch in 2026.. This is a really complex, mission it's going to require. Two launches from earth and one launch from mars in order to get those samples back here, we're working really closely with the european space agency, our core partners, on this mission. So we'll have a launch from the u.s, which will, launch a sample return, lander, that will land on the surface carrying a fetch rover, that will go out and pick up the samples, bring them back. Load them into, a rocket, the mars ascent vehicle, and launch them into orbit around mars. At the same time when we launched from earth the europeans. Are also launching, an orbiter. From earth that will be in orbit around mars. And it will capture. Those samples. With that orbiter we're going to capture them, and then it will, make its return trip, back to earth. Release them and they'll come down and land in the utah desert, where we will then, safely, carry them and put them in the curation, facility, wow what a process, awesome, that is so amazing, thank you so much lori for joining us today we appreciate your time, enjoy the launch. Go perseverance, go ingenuity. Thank you lori. Well in the early 1900s. The wright brothers proved, powered flight was possible, on earth, now, nasa plans to test a powered flight, on mars. With an ingenious. Helicopter. So let's get back out to california, now and raquel. The martian, atmosphere, is 99. Less dense than here on earth so, this is no easy task to fly on mars. It is sterile, now, hitching, a ride on the perseverance, rover, is an exciting, technology, demonstration. The mars, ingenuity, helicopter. Now if successful. It would mark the first time, humans have taken, powered flight on another planet. Ingenuity's. Project manager, mimi ong joins us now to talk about the set of milestones. Ingenuity, needs to hit in order to take flight, on mars. Hi by the way we just had an earthquake in this room, but anyway with that, um. Mars helicopter, tech demo, is motivated. By the potential, of adding the aerial dimension, to space exploration. In the future, a helicopter. Can serve as a scout. For rovers, and astronauts. A helicopter, can get us to places of high scientific, interest, that cannot be reached today. It's not easy to build a rotograph. For flight at mars, the atmosphere, there is very thin, about one percent compared to that at earth, so a helicopter, for mars, has to be very light and have a rotor system.
That Can spin, very fast. Behind, me, is the full-scale, model of mars helicopter, ingenuity. It's very light, 1.8, kilograms. About four pounds. Is capable of flying through the thin atmosphere, of mars. And is capable, of surviving, and operating, autonomously. There is a set of milestones, between now. And ingenuity's. First, flight. The very first one is when we turn on the helicopter. And the base station to check their health. First time operating, in true space environment. The next major milestone. Will be, when perseverance. Rover. Deploys, ingenuity. Helicopter. To the surface. The deployment. Will also, mark. The first moment, the helicopter. Starts to work. On its own in a stand-alone. Manner, it will never return to the rover. And the first major stone, milestone. Then, will be the helicopter, surviving, the first, cold martian night, about minus degree, minus 90 degrees celsius. And we've designed the helicopter. To keep itself warm. So we've planned. For up to five flights, in the 30 martian days that have been set aside for our flight experiments. The fly data we get from the helicopter. Will inform, our team, the health of the helicopter. And. Performance, of each flight. The data. Could also include, a few color photos. First ever photos, of martian terrain, taken from aerovantage. That would be, true icing on our cake. Cake mimi thank you and you're right we did have a little bit of a shake up but everything, seems to be okay, right here so far, and we look forward to ingenuity's, first flight, and with that let's head back to ksc. As we continue, the countdown, to mars. All right thank you raquel. When the name perseverance. Was chosen for the rover, our country, was in the early stages, of the covid, 19, pandemic. Now the name is also a fitting description, of what nasa teams needed to get this rover to the pad. On time. Joining us now is nasa, administrator. Jim bridenstine, thank you very much for being here jim, uh perseverance. Is meaning a lot and that includes a recently, a 3.9. Earthquake that we have reports of in california. We just saw our own minions. She said things were rattling there, so we are persevering. A lot good thing we're not launching from vandenberg, today. You're absolutely, right about that things looking good here in florida i want to ask you, why did we choose, why did you choose, to move nasa forward on this launch, in the midst of a global pandemic. Oh well there's a number of reasons, but i think the biggest thing is uh you know the public wants to see the united states of america, and our international. Partners. Do stunning, things, and we we have a history of doing amazing, things in the most challenging, times. And this is this is no different. Um, so so look here's the here's the other challenging, thing with mars in general. You know we can only go to mars once every 26, months when. When literally the planets, are aligned, and. Um and if we missed this launch window. You know it would cost us half a billion dollars to store this vehicle, for the next two years. Um and so, there's a lot of reasons to go forward. Some of it is you know financial. You know the nasa budget, um, you know and then the other the other big reason is americans, want to see us continue to do big things i want to be really clear though. We have made sure that all along this process. If somebody didn't feel comfortable, working on this project they had the option to not work on this project. And and and i will tell you we didn't find that very often if at all. I will i will also say, that our, highest priority. Was the safety of our people. And we wanted them to know that if they come to work they're going to be safer at work than they would be if they stayed at home. Um and and of course the the, the personal protective, equipment the social. Distancing. The changing of schedules, in order to minimize, people, working on the vehicle at one time, all of these things were put into place as protective measures but it is true. The name perseverance. Which was given to this, robot. By, alex, mather who's a seventh grader in virginia. This is all about perseverance, and going to mars as you said. Going to mars, is all about persevering. In general, doing it now, is more persevering, than ever before, real quick, we've got to launch of course counting down how you feeling. Uh well nervous as always, this is a lot of money at the top of a rocket and of course not just the money but, uh the the entire, life's work of so many you know thousands, of people so. Um, look it's uh it's gonna be a good day we're knocking on wood. But it's but it's gonna be a good day for nasa, thank you very much for being here jim. Thank you you've been all right, thank you so much. We are now at l, minus. 14, minutes. And counting, let's check back in with joshua and mick get an update on preparations.
To Launch the rocket, joshua, there's an important poll by the launch services program happening soon right, yes absolutely, so the, the countdown, is continuing. Um obviously a status report we heard them talking about the earthquake, and everything is still good um we're hearing that on the back end that things are proceeding well no, no major issues or hiccups because of that, um other everything going well the savvy viewers out there will notice the clocks, in motion two clocks actually, the countdown clock there behind daryl and mu is is at four minus and holding, excuse me at t minus four minutes and holding, uh but the clock on your screen now is the l clock and that is continuing to count down towards that 7 50 am. Lift off time. Yeah that's exactly right josh, as we talked earlier the l time is the real time clock that continues, to count down to zero. At t minus four and counting the two clocks the t clock and the l clock will sync up, as the team continues, to work their operational, sequence, events and the procedure, so, team is very focused, this morning, as you already mentioned. The, earthquake that was brought up the team has assessed that and looked at it and they're doing a great job and, getting us to zero this morning, so we mentioned, the us space force as one of the five teams, earlier, and next up we have the nasa launch services program, team, responsible, for managing the launch and we're going to hear a poll here from the nasa launch manager. Himself omar baez he's going to pull his team, for their readiness, to be able to report out in just a few minutes so he's very punctual, so this should be coming. Right on time here in just a few seconds let's listen in now. This is the nlm, on the nlm net. Currently, working. No issues on the range or the launch vehicle. Whether it's, green, 10, chance of. Violation. And. Wins aloft looked good for the entire window. Um. The spacecraft, that uh experienced, some. Earthquake, activity, at their control center in pasadena, but, here's be ready to proceed. And with that, i would like to pull the team. For, final launch pull, in spacecraft, can get, configuration. Nasa ce. Nasa cesco. Sma. Sma, is go. Smd. Smd, is gold. Nasa mission manager. That's the mission manager is go. Lsp. Lsp, is go, copy. Nest team is ready to proceed. All right so we heard nasa team is ready to proceed. Um he even mentioned the weather in there which is great only a ten percent chance of violation, again a big thank you to jessica williams. Of the us space force 45th spaceway. I like the fact that we're working no issues this morning into this count that's an important part that omar brought up, and uh the team, you know one one thing you need to understand about the nlm, is it's a combined nasa team of spacecraft. And engineering. So, hearing all those goes is good this morning yep and we're going to keep moving because we've got a lot to do still we're going to throw it back out to you darrell, all right thank you very much joshua, our nasa teams across the country. Overcame, challenges, caused by the covid, 19 outbreak, as you've heard so far, to get this mars rover, to the launch pad on time. We are about to hear from workers, at centers in california, and florida, who took every, imaginable. Precaution. While managing, to get this vital work done. When i saw. The country, shutting down. I thought for sure. There is no way, we're gonna be able to, continue, this. It's, something that nobody expected, it's something nobody could plan for. Rather than your first priority, being, mission success. And. And getting to the launch pad, your first priority immediately, gets displaced. And it's now, the safety of the people, i was, seriously, thinking mars, would be march 2022.. It took a lot of work to put stuff together in order to, keep, momentum, going to keep people working, safely, keep them healthy, and to keep the project, uh, on schedule. There's no doubt, that, working. In, isolation. Not virtual, isolation. But in. Physical isolation, from everyone else. Is a challenge. It's hard for me i have two young kids, sometimes, i'm not able to, focus, or listen probably as well as i would want to a lot of our work was occurring in a clean room anyways, but that meant that even before we entered the clean room. We had to find ways, of, ensuring, that. We were not putting ourselves, or others at risk. Most of the time for these missions. Our relation, with the spacecraft, customer, is incredibly, important so usually we're able to be here working beside them on their equipment.
And Making sure that all of their needs are covered even before they ask for it it, is a challenge, but we're used to meeting unique requirements, here at the hangar and we pride ourselves on our flexibility. This is just another, mission, just with different set of obstacles, that we have to overcome, might not be you know like a broken rocket, but, it's. It's got its own challenges. Our job, is, to go into the unknown. And, this is just another, example. Of. The unknown. How to make this job happen. When you're, doing it largely, through a computer screen. I asked the team a couple months ago, if they would like to do something, to, kind of symbolize, and mark these challenges, that we faced, and they designed, something that we called, a. 19. Perseverance. Plate that's now fixed to the port side, of the rover, it has a globe. Representing. All of us that face this challenge together, the spacecraft. Leaving. The earth on its way to mars, and all of this supported, by the now familiar. Staff and servant, of the medical community. And we hope that this mission, in some small way, can inspire them in return. Pretty much everybody, that i've talked to, that's associated, with the mission, has, has said the same thing which. You could not have come up with a better name than perseverance. We have persevered. Through this nobody's given up, we will get this mission done. We will get it done through the pandemic. I think it now is it's a really important symbol of humanity. Hopefully, persevering. Through, this great challenging, time that we have right now. We appreciate, that team as well as the medical, community that really stepped up and helped, and it's ironic, you know move because the name perseverance, was chosen by a seventh grader who at the time, he submitted, that name, he didn't know, that we would be faced with a global pandemic. So. We are glad to have him and his family, here, along with the student who named the helicopter. To watch the launch. In person. Their names are alexander, mather and veneza, rupani, and they are watching from the fifth floor balcony, of our engineering, building, just a stone's throw away from the countdown clock. Look at that there they are, looking cool. Alexander, mather who goes to lake braddock element secondary, school in burke virginia, submitted the winning essay to name our rover perseverance. Yeah they've got a great view i've seen it from up there, they've got the vab, in the background, as you can see there so it's such a beautiful setup, for this awesome launch and vanisa.
You Can see here. Hey guys, appreciate, you. She's a junior at tuscaloosa. County high school in northport. Alabama. She entered the contest, as well and came up with the name, ingenuity. For our helicopter, that will accompany. Our rover to mars thank you both for being here what a neat view that is yes. All right folks with the coast phase coming up we want to let you know that after the launch. It will be about an hour before mars perseverance. Separates, from, the second stage, when that and when that happens the rover, will then be on its way to mars so hang in there yeah don't go away, as we will walk you through the flight around the earth, and we'll talk live with the astronaut, xena cardman. About our human exploration, ambitions. And nasa's associate, administrator, of science, dr thomas zurbuchen. It's going to be great folks so stick around, it's l minus. Six minutes and 26, seconds now, and time to focus our attention, on the launch operation, the rest of the way, to liftoff, so let's send it back out to mick woltman, and joshua, santorum. Gentlemen. Thank you i want to let you listen into the to the remainder of this poll in motion let's go to that now. Range coordinator. Clearly proceed. Launch director. Ld is go and you have permission to launch. Proceeding, with account. Alc. Verify, t-0, is set for 11 50 zola. So 1150. Zulu. That is 7 50 a.m. Eastern, time, uh so that time is correct, as i'm watching josh do the calculations, on his finger. Get my advocates out. So there's a lot to come ahead, uh one of the things coming up um in just a, few seconds, five minutes 30 seconds. Oh see, nfc. Go nsc. Spacecraft, on internal power and timer, set for t0, of, 1150. Zoo. Roger, os, start list data capture. Roger. Fantastic. Complete prior to terminal count lc switch is ready. Awesome so things are really starting to pick up here you're going to hear more and more chatter on those nets there, that call was to say that perseverance. Is powered and ready to go, which is a phenomenal, call yeah a couple things happened during that time right is a launch conductor, ula's launch conductor scott barney pulled the whole ula, team, they were all go we got the third of our five teams the third of our five teams we got to hear the end of that where the range was clear to proceed. And, ula's, launch director bill collin, gave the authority, to, go for launch this morning at 7 50 a.m. Then we got to hear from the the jpl, spacecraft, team that they are the fourth team the fourth team that they are on internal, power, and uh timers are set. Uh they are targeting, a liftoff, of 7 50 a.m this morning, so all things are looking good for us joshua, this morning it's so, you know we talk about being nervous and excited, this is right here where we're nervous, and excited. Yes there are a lot of things happening as we get ready to count down, uh to, uh the liftoff this morning we have about 15, seconds left in this hole before we pick up the count, yeah we're going to listen into that the fifth team the one we haven't mentioned yet is the department of energy, who is responsible, for the mm rtg, the power source for perseverance. Three. Two. One. Mark. Awesome so this is now the terminal countdown this is that time when things become more and more automated over the next couple of minutes few minutes, and the the energy's building but the focus, is increasing, exponentially. Yeah as tori said during his interview you know the teams are very disciplined, very, focused, on what they're doing, the operational, sequence, of events that they're following, they're making sure everything happens especially in this t-minus, four and counting. A period because there's a lot of things they have to do they have to finish, topping the vehicle. Make sure that all the tanks, first stage second stage on centaur, are at flight pressures. And full fuel ready to go for this morning, they have to make sure the fds system is armed, and. Ready for, personnel, safety just in case, so the range can do that they have to check the electrical and avionics, systems.
They Have to make sure that the, flight computer, has all the, information, it needs to place march 2020, into the orbit it has to, so a lot of things going on. Exciting. Time, for the team right now, but, again, staying focused, and following that procedure, they've got three minutes. As we look ahead, to post liftoff, i want to kind of preview for you what's going to happen because there's going to be a lot going on you're not going to hear much from us you'll actually be hearing from the ula, flight commentator. Jesse gonzalez. Uh he'll be kind of giving those calls past liftoff. That will walk us through. Maximum, dynamic, pressure, and into srb separation. And then into, fairing separation. Booster, separation. And then the. First. Main engine ignition. Of, the centaur. Rl10, and so then you'll kind of hear us jump back in and help provide some more context to what's going on uh we encourage you to stay with us for the rest of the show there's a ton more, content we have to bring you and we are far from over, want to emphasize, that the countdown to mars is not done, at zero today the countdown to mars ends in february. When march 2020, safely delivers, perseverance, and ingenuity. To the surface of the red planet so we're going to let you listen in now and enjoy the last couple minutes of the, the process, of launching a. Rocket. One minute 59. Vehicle, internal, one minute 55. Launch sequencer, start. One minute fifty. The carrying centaur leaks two. Securing, centaur, lo2. So there we heard the fueling, is, running up 40., yep fueling is wrapping up, the team is gone. Launch conductor sequence is ready to go, they're getting ready to turn the vehicle over to automatically, armed, at t minus 31, seconds. Um so that's a. Big thing that they're getting done here, at t minus 25, seconds we will hear the team uh give their final goes that everything is ready and the launch vehicle. Is uh ready to lift up you are on this mission. Scf, countdown, minute 15. Produce ecs, for launch, roger. One minute ten. Denver. One minute. Rock report range status. Range green. That's good to hear joshua right there public safety there is accounting for the fts system, uh there you see on your screen a beautiful shot, uh, the skies look great, there is little wind, um happening you'd be able to see more of the the venting, um if there were wind the trail of that venting so, we're ready to go and actually that's the important point the reason we don't see that, is that, valves have been locked up to put flight pressure into the tanks, and as we just heard they're stable, at step three which means the tanks are ready to go. And uh here at about, five seconds we will hear the team, ecs reduced for launch give by final 25, seconds, status, check.
Go Atlas. Go centaur. Go mars 20 20.. There we go we are ready, to go lift off this morning joshua. Eight. Seven. Six. Five, five four. Engine ignition, two. One. Zero. And liftoff. As the countdown to mars continues. The perseverance, of humanity, launching the next generation, of robotic, explorers, to the red planet. And atlas tu has gone to close loop. Control. Coming up on 30 seconds into play the rd-180, is throttling, down as expected, engine response looks. Good. And mach 1 atlas 5 is now supersonic. And passing 45, seconds into flight vehicle is now passing through max q maximum dynamic. Pressure. And passing, one minute into flight the rd-180, is throttling back up as expected, engine response looks good. At this time in flight the srv, chamber pressures remain nominal, the rd-180. Pump speed and fuel injector, pressures are responding well to demands on the engine. Standing by for srb burnout. Shortly. And we have burnout on all four srbs, burnout pressure signatures, look good standing by for srb, jettison. Shortly. And we have, a good indication, of srb jettison of all four srbs. And the vehicle has gone to closed-loop, guidance. Vehicle body rates are responding normally, at this. Time. And coming up on two and a half minutes from the flight. The rd-180, is throttled down slightly as expected, engine response continues, to look good. At this time the vehicle is, 50 miles in altitude. 85, miles downrange, traveling, at, 6 000 miles per hour. And the centaur reaction control system is now pressurizing, to flight. Levels. And just past three minutes into flight the rd-180. Is now throttling, to maintain, a constant, two and a half g acceleration, limit for payload fairing jettison. Engine response, and vehicle acceleration, look. Good. And we have good indication, of payload fairing jettison, and centaur. Forward load reactor, deck jettison. And the rd-180. Is throttled, back is throttling back up to attain a 4.6, g, acceleration. Engine response continues, to look good. And centaur has begun the boost phase chill down sequence to thermally condition the rl10, for operation. Standing by for beco. Shortly. Biko is the. Because the call for, booster, engine, and we have bco booster engine cutoff. Standing by for stage. Separation. And we have good indication, of atlas centaur separation. So there you're seeing live footage and we have the map one. Uh rl10, operating parameters, look good. Chamber pressures are stable. This will be the first of two burns for today's mission, this first burn will prob be approximately, seven minutes in length. So make this pretty exceptional footage there that's live, video, we will see that switch over shortly.
Into An animation. That kind of helps. Let us know what's happening with the rocket but right there, a beautiful liftoff. Fun to feel that rumble in the building here, as we proceed towards. Orbit, and then, towards. Mars destination. Yeah absolutely it was great, uh watching an on-time lift off of the atlas 5, with that a little over 2 million. Pounds of thrust. Cleared the tower, in roughly, 5 seconds. Josh you and i worked the insight, mission and if you recall that mission on the west coast took about 17, seconds to get pest tower, so with those four solids, today this thing really got out of here and on its way. It's uh, as we hear from jesse, chamber pressure. Everything's, looking nominal, and all uh, vehicle parameters, are within the design limits and and we're getting ready to come up on a main engine start for that first burn that jesse was talking about. Yeah so recapping, this countdown to mars. Stations began to be filled up this morning just after midnight. Uh preparations. Fuelings, powering, up uh all the way through that, that liftoff, that happened, uh i think, uh it wasn't precisely, on time i think you said it was like 10 milliseconds, early, um, so it's pretty much dead on yeah dead-on this team does a great job as i said they're, very focused very disciplined, as torrey also said courageous. They have done a lot of work to get us to this point today uh through this pandemic. Changed how they did some of their work uh, you know made adjustments, as needed. A lot of cleaning a lot of things a lot of wearing their face masks. Doing all kinds of things and so this is exciting, time not only for the jpl, team in march 2020, but everybody that's worked this mission, and for the country in the agency, so this is exciting to see we still have a long way to go joshua. Before spacecraft, separation, yeah we had a really quiet countdown today which is phenomenal. That we got off the ground on time, and we are proceeding now that we are in the middle of the first burn, it's tough to make out but that engine is lit and it's firing, um so we are in motion there you go there's that information we talked about the telemetry, there as we switch, to a tdrs compatible, data format. Uh tdrs, overall telemetry, quality, is uh very good the space tracking system, um so there you go this is not an actual video, but this is an animation that's driven by real data, so although we're not actually seeing the engine on screen right now, we can see that the engine is lit and that is driven by the data that says that the engine is truly lit and we're in this burn yeah the launch vehicle continues to send telemetry, to the launch team via the tdrs, network, as you mentioned. And that allows them to continue, to watch what's going on and make sure all their sequence of events, meet their timeline. That we continue, on a nominal flight this morning. This uh this first burn as we heard earlier will be about six minutes this will get us into that, park orbit, around earth. Allow, us to get uh on our way, and then get into that approximately, 30 minute coast period that we're going to have eight minutes into flight. Beginning to see the centaur pu system balance out. Mass errors. Seeing very stable, body rates in the centaur. So we've mentioned five teams that play, and although, if you were watching hopefully you got a chance to see this in person if not, on camera, it's easy to kind of say oh it's over like job done but all five of these teams still very much engaged, still very much focused because there's a lot of work ahead, as we proceed through this first burn, and then a coast phase like you mentioned mick and then a second burn. And then spacecraft, separation, and the acquisition, of signal from, mars 2020. So a lot more coming up here mick i know for launch services, program, you guys manage the launch. Uh so what does that mean i mean this is this is you guys work in action right now by the way that's the fifth team that we didn't get to mention we talked about jpl, we talked about doe. We talked about united space force, uh united states space force, and united launch alliance, uh lsp, we are we are like the brokers, uh to select this launch vehicle, and help with manage this mission.
So We we get our spacecraft, customer the jpl, folks they come to us, they have some certain requirements, that they need for this mission. The launch services, program, made up of engineers. And flight analysis. Folks and. They look at everything, they help to find those. Requirements. And then we go out and, procure a vehicle from a commercial partner, in this case it was the atlas 541. For the mars 20. 20 mission that was needed. For performance, right uh, as, you and i have talked over the last several days josh one of the things that was important for us to look at, was that performance, to be able to get. Mars 2020, onto that transfer, orbit into, solar orbit to intercept, mars, in. Seven months it's kind of analogous, to a football, game right, with a quarterback, trying to throw a pass downfield. You need a quarterback, with a lot of performance. Who can get that ball down there where it needs to be. And and, so the receiver, can, intercept that in our case, seven months later there you go yeah it's the longest, football pass ever. The earth is the quarterback. The atlas, is the quarterback's, arm, perseverance. Is the football, and mars is the receiver, that's a good guy exactly right and what we also talked about is that. Technically. You could launch to mars at any time if you had a rocket that was powerful, enough, but this is the launch period. Every 26 months or so as we've talked about that makes, the most sense because. You require the least amount of energy, to get to mars, because it takes a lot, to get there obviously like the atlas, 541. Is, is a workhorse, yes. Torrey said it's their dominator. I love that name for the atlas v. 541, but we heard. Jim breidenstein, our nasa administrator, tell us that if we didn't make this launch period we would be down for roughly, 26, months right, so the period started july 17th, and went and goes to august, 15th. Today, july, 30th, was one of those launch opportunities. That we had we had a two-hour window, and within that window we had several, opportunities. 25. Actually, 25, opportunities, and we launched at the beginning of the window on our first opportunity. To get mars 2020. Uh going, on its way, and and that you know, that sounds like, a lot and it is the flight analysis, group both at jpl. Lsp, and ula. Did a lot of work. To pick out those target sets and figure out where we needed to be so they've done a great job we'll see how this mission continues.
So Meg tell us about the two burns required here and we're actually coming up on the end of the first one. Ultimately, a lot of people probably and myself included, at some point just like why would you just keep firing the engines just, fire all the way through, and get to mars in one shot. So the first burn gets us into that park orbit we talked about we we've lifted off we've left earth we've got into a park orbit around earth right now, and while we're in that, park orbit, we will perform, some maneuvers, to kind of roll uh mars perspirants, and the centaur. And uh coast during that time. Basically. Setting itself up looking, at the sun and away from the sun to control the thermal environments. That, are on mars 2020, during this coast period, that coast period will allow us to coast around. Uh into the position that we need, so that we can have that second firing. To get the velocity, needed. To head off into mars, yes and we will, be back for that second burn, in just under 30 minutes now, uh but for now there's more to learn about this mission and all the amazing science that's involved. Daryl back to. You. All right, thank you very much, great launch and great job guys, back outside, now, to recap, an atlas 5 rocket carrying mars perseverance, rover, launched, on time from the cape canaveral, air force station, at 7, 50 a.m, eastern daylight time, incredible. After the rocket took flight it separated, from the first stage and was then boosted into orbit by the centaur, second stage. Perseverance. Is now preparing, for a second burn that will put it on a trajectory, toward mars. That's just incredible to say it gives me goosebumps, it really is and we're so excited about that as well and, while we wait for that second burn hang in there with us because we got a lot of exciting coverage to go, we're going to welcome, in our one of our launch guests dr, derek muller, he is the creator. And host, of the popular, science, education, channel on youtube. Called veritasium. He also holds a doctorate. In physics, education, so, he's really smart and that's why you saw us, kind of having some fun because derek was here on set, we're just having a good time, talking about this launch which i got to start off with that derek, your first time, seeing a launch in person what'd you think, i mean. What can you say that i have nothing to compare it to, but it was awesome something i will never forget and i definitely want to be invited back so, if you guys can make that happen i mean, just so amazing. You did a great job explaining, physics. What did it feel like can i walk me through as you were watching. And experiencing. It, well. It's like all the physics goes out the window a little bit it's a very visceral, moment between, you and this very powerful, craft. I think it's just amazing, all the, you know the engineering, that goes into making something that's that powerful and yet that controlled. You know and to witness that is phenomenal. And then to feel the rumble, of all that sound as it hits you, i found it an incredibly. Emotional, experience, it's it's almost unbelievable. To you know see it taking off it's, it's very surreal, that's for sure nice. What excites you the most about the perseverance, rover. Well the perseverance, rover is going to do a lot of great science, so i'm excited for example that it's going to cache samples that we're going to bring back you know super excited that we're actually going to, have samples, from mars in our hands and i think that may clinch. Whether we can see that life is actually there, but i'm also super excited about, uh ingenuity, about the helicopter, which i got to visit out at jpl, before it was strapped, to the underbelly, of the rover, and to think about flying a rotorcraft. In, uh you know another. World essentially. In a place that only has 1 100th, the earth's, atmosphere. It seems, audacious. And i am impressed, and amazed, and i can't wait to see if it works you know i i am, i'm cautiously optimistic, i think the team is is phenomenal. And you did a in fact uh youtube story on it uh piece on your channel and did a fantastic, job going to jpl, i did yeah and and i was just so lucky that it was like, there. You know a meter or two away from me on the other side of a door in a clean room and uh that was yeah, one of the great moments of my life yeah that thing's going to mars, exactly. Yeah and it's in a ways like about as much as my laptop. Yeah and you think about, you know it's, you know substantial, in its size and it's going to go there and take off and fly all by itself because of course we can't control it, given the time delay and everything i like.
That Is i just think one of the pinnacles, of human engineering. Yes, absolutely, now this is going to do some big science as well what are your thoughts on the search, for ancient microbial. Life on another planet, mars. Well, you know i think, chances are good that mars once harbored life it was so similar to earth in the past, one can only expect. You know life probably sprung up there as well. But, i'm i'm really. Excited, to for us to get that confirmation, because i think it really transforms. Our ideas about life, and you know how frequent it is right now all we have is this sample size of one one earth with, life you know, we find, another one that's 100 percent more, information, and data and i think it's likely that that life will not be, exactly, like ours, and and i think it'll be fascinating. Everything we can learn about you know other potential, forms of life just by finding. You know life on another planet you seem to suggest that you think there is life, i i do i mean you you have liquid water, for, i don't know how many you know half a billion or billion years, on earth that was enough to create life, so. You know. The guess is that's not a unique thing, you know right i mean, the scientific hypothesis, is you you run that enough times, it's bound to lead to life again, in other circumstances. Dr derek muller we really appreciate you being here youtube creator, with the channel veritasium. You we know you have a two and a half week old child, uh, your wife is holding out. There are very few things that i could leave, for but this lunch, that is one of them thank you so much for doing so get a selfie with our full-size rover back here you see that the league definitely, very good thank you so much. There has been a lot of anticipation, by nasa teams leading up to this launch, but some won't be able to fully celebrate until the rover has safely landed on mars, seven months from now, raquel, you are there with the mars mission team at jpl, in california. How are they reacting to seeing mars 2020, take flight.
Well Moo it's been, quite an eventful, morning with the earthquake. But you could feel the energy building, in the room in the run-up to launch, and, now i'm with bobby braun, the director for planetary, science at jpl. Bobby, now that we've started our journey to mars, can you tell me how you are feeling. Wow it's just it's a great day it's uh we're all so excited, um and to, get started in this way and, to be on our way. After all this work that the team has gone through. Uh it's really, really just fantastic. That's great now. What's. Now the perseverance, is off the launch pad, what are its next steps. Yeah well we're almost. On the path to mars if you will the launch vehicle, has done great so far our partners at ula, are just fantastic. And we're, very happy to be working with them and for them to give us this boost so far. But we still have to, have another, burn of our upper stage, we have to pass through the night side or the shadow o