Perseverance launch: How to watch NASA launch the alien-hunting Mars 2020 rover

But if the rover takes off this week as planned, NASA expects Perseverance to touch down in Mars’ Jezero crater on February 18, 2021.

Matt Wallace, deputy project manager for the mission at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), said last week: “We’re pleased to be passing another milestone with the completion of the Flight Readiness Review.

“But we’ll keep our heads through the final prelaunch activities and the opening of the launch window next week, until we’re certain this spacecraft is safely on its way.

“Mars is a tough customer and we don’t take anything for granted.”

Perseverance will fly aboard a United Launch Alliance (ULA) Atlas V rocket.