Rocket launch on Thursday, July 30 at 7:50AM!

The Perseverance Mars Rover is set to launch aboard a United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket.  In our house of early risers, weʻll be tuning into the live coverage over breakfast at 7AM. Whether you catch it live or watch a rebroadcast of the event, thereʻs plenty of time to explore Mars virtually before the rover lands in February 2021.

This is the first Mars mission to include a drone helicopter.  Itʻs the first time humans will attempt powered flight on another planet.  While Perseverance searches for signs of ancient life, the Ingenuity Helicopter will be doing flight tests.

Add some fun to summer stay-cations by visiting the Mars Perserverance Photo Booth to create a photo of the family standing on Mars or next to Perserverance.

Add some excitement by using Scratch to code a Mars Helicopter video game.  If offline activities are more your familyʻs speed, make and launch your own paper helicopter or rocket.

And of course, there are plenty of books about Mars and space exploration with which to snuggle up. Favorites in our house are Curiosity: the Story of a Mars Rover by Markus Motom, a great read aloud from the roverʻs point of view; and The Mighty Mars Rovers : the Incredible Adventures of Spirit and Opportunity by Elizabeth Rusch, which tells the story of two rovers sent to explore Mars in 2003 that lasted far past their projected lives of 3 months, instead exploring the Red Planet for years and laying the groundwork for todayʻs missions.