Perseverance Rover Approaches Mars (Illustration)
This illustration shows NASA's Mars 2020 spacecraft carrying the Perseverance rover as it approaches Mars. Hundreds of critical events must execute perfectly and exactly on time for the rover to land on Mars safely on Feb. 18, 2021.
Solar panels powering the spacecraft are visible on the cruise state at the top. The cruise stage is attached to the aeroshell, which encloses the rover and descent stage.
Entry, Descent, and Landing, or "EDL," begins when the aeroshell reaches the top of the Martian atmosphere, traveling nearly 12,500 mph (20,000 kph). It ends about seven minutes later, with Perseverance stationary on the Martian surface.
NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Southern California built and will manage operations of the Mars 2020 Perseverance rover for NASA.
For more information about the mission, go to: https://mars.nasa.gov/mars2020.