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NASA On Track With Mars 2020 Launch

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Omar Baez and Matt Wallace, NASA officials, said online that the space agency has more than enough time to address potential problems that may affect the Mars 2020 launch schedule, Space News reported Wednesday.

The two said processing activities are running on schedule toward the launch set for July 20. NASA moved the launch date from July 17 due to a technical issue but Baez and Wallace said that current processes are proceeding on time.

The space agency implemented a work safety program, titled Mars 2020 Safe at Work, to have preparation activities continue running and reduce personnel risks amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

“The objective was to keep the team as safe, or safer, than they would be if they were not working,” said Wallace, a deputy project manager of the Mars 2020 effort. Baez, meanwhile, serves as the mission's launch director under NASA's Launch Services Program.

NASA will launch the Mars 2020 rover, named Perseverance, on United Launch Alliance's Atlas 5 rocket from Florida-based Cape Canaveral Air Force Station.

The mission will deploy Perseverance on the red planet to collect rock samples and explore for signs of life.