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How NASA is launching the Mars 2020 rover during COVID-19 – Source

After nine years in development, the Mars 2020 rover, Perseverance, was entering its final four months when the COVID-19 pandemic struck. By then, the separate spacecraft sections had arrived at Kennedy Space Center (KSC) in Florida for assembly and testing. With diminishing margins for error or delays, teams were suddenly thrust into working from home with family distractions. Adding to the pressure was a four-week launch window that, if missed, would push the mission back two years and a half billion dollars.

“Putting together a spacecraft to Mars and not making a mistake is hard no matter what,” said NASA deputy project manager Matt Wallace. “Trying to do it during the middle of a pandemic is a lot harder. Everyone told us we could not have come up with a better name than Perseverance.” (Wallace and others in this story spoke during or in videos presented at a virtual June press conference.)

Despite this seismic hurdle, the Mars 2020 rover is on track for a July 30 launch…

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