NASA's Perseverance rover is scheduled to launch from Cape Canaveral at 7:50 a.m. The mission is the nation's first that is dedicated to astrobiology, or the search for evidence of ancient life on another planet. If bad weather or technical issues interfere with takeoff, NASA has about a three week window -- July 30 through August 15, with varying launch times each day -- to try again. If the mission fails completely within that time frame, the team would have to wait until 2022. That's because Earth and Mars only align in a position that's conducive to launches every 26 months.
Following an eight-day delay NASA is set to launch the Perseverance rover at 7:50 AM ET today. The lander, orbiter and rover will launch aboard United Launch Alliance's highly reliable Atlas V rocket to kick off what should be a very exciting mission. The original launch, scheduled for July 22nd, had to be scrubbed due to a balky liquid oxygen sensor. You'll be able to watch the launch live on NASA's site at nasa.gov/live or at the stream embedded below. The relatively complicated mission will use a rover, lander and orbiter to examine the geological history of Mars.
Nasa has revealed the last thing its Opportunity rover saw on Mars – and the view that marks its final resting place. The image shows what Opportunity saw before it was swallowed up in a dust storm that knocked it offline, and from which it never woke up. Last month, Nasa declared the robot dead, after eight months of trying to talk to it that saw more than 1,000 messages sent out into space. It brought an end to a mission that lasted almost 15 years, and revealed many of Mars's secrets. We'll tell you what's true.
NASA's Cassini spacecraft has been voyaging through the solar system since October 1997. It went into orbit around Saturn in 2004 and has since taken thousands of images of the planet, its rings, and its many diverse moons. But on 15 September, the craft will end its mission by crashing into Saturn. As the Cassini mission draws to an end, New Scientist looks back at some of the most impressive images that the spacecraft has sent back to Earth. Taken in April 2016, this set of stitched-together images reveals the beginning of the summer solstice in Saturn's northern hemisphere.