Mars 2020 is a Mars rover mission by NASA’s Mars Exploration Program that includes the Perseverance rover and the Ingenuity helicopter drone. It was launched on July 30 and will touch down in Jezero crater on Mars in February 2021.
Perseverance will investigate an astrobiologically relevant ancient environment on Mars and investigate its surface geological processes and history, including the assessment of its past habitability, the possibility of past life on Mars, and the potential for preservation of biosignatures within accessible geological materials. It will cache sample containers along its route for retrieval by a potential future Mars sample-return mission. The Mars 2020 mission was announced by NASA in December 2012 at the fall meeting of the American Geophysical Union in San Francisco. The Perseverance rover’s design is derived from the Curiosity rover, and will use many components already fabricated and tested, new scientific instruments and a core drill.
Mars 2020 was the third of three space missions sent toward Mars during the July 2020 Mars launch window, with missions also launched by the national space agencies of the United Arab Emirates (Hope orbiter) and China (Tianwen-1, with an orbiter, lander, and rover). All three are expected to arrive at Mars in February 2021.