Centennial, Colo., Aug. 25, 2016 (ULA PR) – NASA’s Launch Services Program announced today that it selected United Launch Alliance’s (ULA’s) proven Atlas V vehicle to launch Mars 2020, its next robotic science rover. This award resulted from a competitive procurement under the NASA Launch Services contract.
“We are honored that NASA has selected ULA to provide another robotic science rover to Mars on this tremendously exciting mission,” said Laura Maginnis, ULA’s vice president of Custom Services. “Our launch vehicles have a rich heritage with Mars, supporting 17 successful missions over more than 50 years. ULA and our heritage rockets have launched every U.S. spacecraft to the red planet, including Mars Science Lab, as well as the Spirit and Opportunity rovers.”
The Mars 2020 mission is scheduled to launch in summer 2020 from Space Launch Complex-41 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida. This mission will launch aboard an Atlas V 541 vehicle, which includes a 5-meter diameter payload fairing and four solid rocket motors.
“With 64 successful missions spanning more than a decade of operational service, the commercially developed Atlas V is uniquely qualified to provide the best value launch service for these critical science missions,” said Tory Bruno, ULA CEO and president.
The Mars 2020 rover mission is part of NASA’s Mars Exploration Program, a long-term effort of robotic exploration of the red planet, and will address high-priority science goals for Mars exploration, including key questions about the potential for life on Mars.
ULA also will launch NASA’s Interior Exploration using Seismic Investigations, Geodesy and Heat Transport (InSight) mission to Mars in May 2018.
With more than a century of combined heritage, United Launch Alliance is the nation’s most experienced and reliable launch service provider. ULA has successfully delivered more than 100 satellites to orbit that provide critical capabilities for troops in the field, aid meteorologists in tracking severe weather, enable personal device-based GPS navigation and unlock the mysteries of our solar system.
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