Volga-Dnepr delivers Atlas 5 rocket booster for NASA’s next Mars Rover mission

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Volga-Dnepr delivers for the first stage of United Launch Alliance’s Atlas 5 Rocket for NASA’s next Mars Rover mission

On 18th May, Volga-Dnepr transported an Atlas 5 rocket booster to Cape Canaveral, Florida, for a scheduled mission to Mars.

The AN-124-100 ‘Ruslan’, is the only aircraft large enough to carry the Atlas 5, and flew the 32-metre long rocket booster, from Huntsville, Alabama to its final launch location. In addition to the over-length piece, Volga-Dnepr also transported payload fairings and RD-180 engines for the special mission.

After unloading the unique cargo piece from the aircraft, ULA moved the rocket into the Atlas Spaceflight Operations Center for post-shipment checks.

The high profile delivery signalled the start of a new phase of launch preparations for the Perseverance Rover, the centrepiece of NASA’s $2.5 billion Mars 2020 mission.

The launch is scheduled at 9:10 a.m. on July 17.

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