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Photos: Atlas 5 rocket catapults into space with Mars rover

Posted On: 6 Aug 2020   |   Posted By: Spaceflight Now

Photos: Atlas 5 rocket catapults into space with Mars rover

Carrying a $2.7 billion NASA mission to Mars, a United Launch Alliance Atlas 5 rocket took off July 30 from Cape Canaveral and fired into a summer sky powered by four powerful solid rocket boosters and a kerosene-burning main engine.
The Atlas 5 blasted off from pad 41 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station at 7:50 a.m. EDT July 30 and rocketed away from the Florida spaceport with some 2.3 million pounds of thrust.
The 197-foot-tall rocket arced over the Atlantic Ocean to the east from Cape Canaveral, surpassed the speed of sound in 35 seconds, and shed its four strap-on solid rocket boosters just before the two-minute mark of the flight. The first stage's kerosene-fed RD-180 fired for nearly four-and-a-half minutes dropping away, allowing the rocket's Centaur upper stage to accelerate NASA's Perseverance rover on an escape trajectory toward Mars.
The robotic Perseverance rover is the centerpiece of NASA's Mars 2020 mission designed to search for signs of ancient life on the Red...

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