On 25 August it was formally confirmed that NASA’s Launch Services Program had selected the United Launch Alliance (ULA) Atlas V 541 vehicle to launch its Mars 2020 robotic science rover. This award resulted from a competitive procurement under the NASA Launch Services contract.
The Mars 2020 mission is scheduled to launch in summer 2020 from the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station launch site in Florida. The Atlas V 541 vehicle being used has a 5m diameter payload fairing and four solid rocket motors.
The Mars 2020 rover mission is part of NASA’s Mars Exploration Program, a long-term effort of robotic exploration of the red planet, and will address high-priority science goals for Mars exploration, including key questions about the potential for life on Mars.