Mars Mission Sound Check

engineers working on the Mars 2020 spacecraft
May 18, 2020
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The spacecraft that will carry NASA's Perseverance rover to Mars is examined prior to an acoustic test in the Environmental Test Facility at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Southern California. From the bottom up, is the complete cruise stage, which will power and guide the Mars 2020 spacecraft on its seven-month voyage to the Red Planet. Directly above that is the aeroshell (white back shell and barely visible black heat shield), which will protect the vehicle during cruise as well as during its fiery descent into the Martian atmosphere. Not visible (because it's cocooned inside the aeroshell) is the completed rocket-powered descent stage and the surrogate rover (a stand-in for the real rover, which at the time was undergoing final assembly in JPL's High Bay 1 cleanroom). The image was taken on April 11, 2019.