back to article Born slippy: NASA Mars rover Perseverance to persevere on Earth a little longer as launch date pushed back again

It is squeaky bum time at NASA after the launch date for the agency's Perseverance Mars rover was pushed back yet again, raising the spectre of a multi-year delay. Due to launch on an Atlas V from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station's Space Launch Complex-41, lift-off had been scheduled for 13:15 UTC on 20 July. It then slipped …

  1. Chris G Silver badge

    F*ck-up fairy

    I think she had a few sisters, a couple of them are neighbous of mine.

    I can't imagine how frustrating it must be for the mission teams when they get delays like this.

    Particularly when the problems are with the taxi service.

  2. renke

    TITSUP

    Total Inability To Secure Uplift Propulsion

    (doing el regs work here. who is this f*ck-up fairy gal anyway?)

    1. Mark 85 Silver badge

      Re: TITSUP

      (who is this f*ck-up fairy gal anyway?)

      Murphy's sister.

  3. eldel

    But the "they're just amateurs" mob just lofted a new GPS sat into orbit yesterday - apparently the 88th Falcon9 flight. Looks like Boeing have the same engineering crew on the Atlas as the 737MAX.

    1. HildyJ Silver badge
      Facepalm

      Like it or not

      At this point, regardless of Elon's dreams. SpaceX doesn't have any proven launch vehicle to fly Perseverance to Mars.

      Of course this could change if they miss the launch window and delay until 2022.

      Note that the launch window is a date with very little wiggle room. As Mars moves away from Earth the Atlas will no longer be able to get Perseverance there.

      1. Marketing Hack Silver badge
        Boffin

        Re: Like it or not

        "As Mars moves away from Earth the Atlas will no longer be able to get Perseverance there."

        We could always add leftover skate wheels to make the probe go faster, or find a flightpath to Mars that is downhill all the way!

        1. Richard 12 Silver badge
          Boffin

          Re: Like it or not

          Good news!

          It's downhill most of the way.

          The first hill is a big one, mind you.

          1. This post has been deleted by its author

      2. phuzz Silver badge

        Re: Like it or not

        The Falcon Heavy can get enough mass on a Mars trajectory*, but back when they were planning the Mars 2020 mission the FH hadn't flown. Swapping launch vehicles halfway through the planning phase isn't something NASA do very often.

        Also, I suspect they were always going to stick with the same rocket they used for Curiosity. That said, I'd be pretty sure that any Mars missions in planning right now, will be looking at the FH as an option.

        * SpaceX claim about 16,800kg for a full expendable launch, and the rover+landing system+cruise stage is less than 4,000kg

  4. John Smith 19 Gold badge
    Unhappy

    It's called a "Launch Window" for a reason.

    But note they still have till Aug 15th to get everything sorted. NASA and ULA could still make it happen. Telatively tight. Not impossible.

    Aug 15th is also when SX would have to send something to Mars. They are unlikely to make it happen.

    But 2022 should be a different story.

  5. 89724102172714182892114I7551670349743096734346773478647892349863592355648544996312855148587659264921 Bronze badge

    It's even slippier launching into Uranus

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