January 22, 2022


News Network

NASA Invites Public to Share Excitement of Mars 2020 Perseverance Rover Launch

11 min read

A Mars photo booth, augmented-reality filters, and a virtual launch packet are just some of the ways to celebrate the July 30 launch of the Mars 2020 Perseverance mission.

NASA is inviting the public to take part in virtual activities and events ahead of the launch of the agency’s Mars 2020 Perseverance rover, which is targeted for 7:50 a.m. EDT (4:50 a.m. PDT) Thursday, July 30, on a United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket from Space Launch Complex 41 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida.

Live coverage and countdown commentary will begin at 7 a.m. EDT (4 a.m. PDT) on NASA Television and the agency’s website, as well as YouTube, Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitch, Daily Motion, and Theta.TV. As part of the broadcast, Grammy Award-winning singer and songwriter Gregory Porter will perform a special rendition of “America the Beautiful.”

Perseverance is NASA’s latest Red Planet rover, designed to search for astrobiological evidence of ancient microbial life on Mars. Following a seven-month journey, it will land at Jezero Crater on Feb. 18, 2021. There, Perseverance will gather rock and soil samples for future return to Earth. It also will characterize the planet’s climate and geology and pave the way for human exploration of the Red Planet. The robotic scientist, which weighs just under 2,300 pounds (1,043 kilograms), also will carry the Ingenuity Mars Helicopter, a technology demonstration that marks the first attempt at powered, controlled flight on another planet.

Members of the public can attend the launch virtually, receiving mission updates and opportunities normally received by on-site guests. NASA’s virtual launch experience for Mars 2020 Perseverance rover includes: a behind-the-scenes look at the mission; augmented reality filters; access to an engaging NASA social community; an invitation to submit videos to be part of the televised launch broadcast; toolkits for students; a chance to take a souvenir photo in our Mars Photo Booth; and the opportunity to send your name to Mars!

“More than 112,000 people registered to be our virtual guests for NASA’s SpaceX Demo-2 test flight launch in May, which was the first time the agency had offered this type of launch experience to the public,” said NASA Associate Administrator for Communications Bettina Inclán. “For our Mars 2020 Perseverance rover launch, we hope even more people will join us as we #CountdownToMars!”

To participate, members of the public can register to stay up to date on mission information, mission highlights, and interaction opportunities. To find out more, visit:


Members of the public also can share in the journey through a variety of activities, including:

Virtual NASA Social

NASA will host a global “NASA Social,” an opportunity for social media users to get a behind-the-scenes view of the Perseverance launch. The NASA Social will be held virtually via a public Facebook group, so people of all ages from all over the world can request permission to join us for a behind-the-scenes look at the mission. Registration is open on Facebook. All social applications will be considered on a case-by-case basis. Live opportunities will begin one day prior to the launch date. Learn more at:


Send Your Name to Mars, Again!

When Perseverance launches to Mars, it will carry three dime-size chips with 10.9 million names submitted by people all over the world. Those who already submitted their names can get a special “Now Boarding” stamp on their boarding passes and anyone can sign up to send their name on a future Mars mission at:



Be a part of the countdown to by recording a launch countdown video clip and tagging it on social media using #CountdownToMars. Selected clips will be featured on NASA social media or even on launch day during NASA’s launch coverage. Learn more at:


Virtual Launch Packet

This interactive booklet is packed with info about the Mars 2020 Perseverance rover launch and all the print products for the mission. Flip through the interactive packet, or download a PDF version.

Mars Photo Booth

While sharing the Mars launch with friends and family, take a souvenir photo with NASA’s virtual Mars Photo Booth. You can pose next to the mighty Atlas V rocket that will launch the Mars 2020 Perseverance rover, strike a pose on the Red Planet, or put yourself next to the rover in the clean room at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Southern California, where the rover was assembled. Just upload your favorite picture, choose a background, and download the new image:


Augmented Reality Filters

Virtually join our #CountdownToMars with our new Facebook and Instagram Augmented Reality Filters. Take a virtual trip to Mars with the immersive Put Yourself on Mars filter, give the official countdown to launch as a flight director with the Mission Control filter, or bring the mission to any environment with the Mars Rover 3D filter.


Mission Control:https://www.instagram.com/ar/694585304450501/

3D Rover:https://www.instagram.com/ar/304928364011381/

Get a Front Row Seat

Get a free front row seat to the #CountdownToMars launch broadcast with Oculus virtual reality technology on Facebook.


Spacecraft 3D Rover Experience

Explore the intricate features of Perseverance with this interactive 3D feature that lets you zoom, rotate, and mouse over the rover to learn about its various components:


Activities and Lessons for Students

Launch rockets, build robots, and explore worlds beyond our own! This collection of projects, toolkit and contests will take you into space without ever leaving Earth:


In addition, a variety of Mars-themed lessons are available from JPL’s education website:


Mars 2020 STEM Toolkit

Bring the exciting engineering and science of this mission to students in the classroom and at home with STEM lessons and do-it-yourself projects covering topics such as biology, geology, physics, mathematics, engineering, coding and language arts.


Ask Experts Anything

Experts from NASA, United Launch Alliance (ULA), the Department of Energy (DOE), and more will answer public questions about the mission in a Reddit Ask Me Anything on Monday, July 27, at 4:30 p.m. EDT (1:30 p.m. PDT). For updates, check back regularly at:


Watch and Engage on Social Media

Stay connected with the mission on social media, and let people know you’re following it on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram using the hashtag #CountdownToMars. Follow and tag these accounts:

Twitter: @NASA, @NASAPersevere, @NASAMars

Facebook: NASA, NASAPersevere,NASAMars

Instagram: NASA

NASA Television Coverage

In addition to social media coverage, NASA Television will air a number of events leading up to, including, and following the launch. Coverage of the launch begins at 7 a.m. EDT (4 a.m. PDT) Thursday, July 30.

The following events currently are scheduled to air live (all times Eastern). Please check the NASA TV schedule for the latest updates:

Wednesday, July 22

3 p.m. – NASA Science Live: Perseverance Mars Rover & the Search for Ancient Life

Monday, July 27

1 p.m. – Mars 2020 Pre-Launch News Conference

3 p.m. – Mars 2020 Mission Engineering/Science Briefing

Tuesday, July 28

2 p.m. – Mars 2020 Mars Sample Return Briefing

4 p.m. – Mars 2020 Mission Tech and Humans to Mars Briefing

Thursday, July 30

7 a.m. – Mars 2020 Perseverance launch broadcast

11:30 a.m. – Mars 2020 Perseverance post-launch news conference

Mars 2020 Perseverance is part of America’s larger Moon to Mars exploration approach that includes missions to the Moon as a way to prepare for human exploration of the Red Planet. Charged with sending the first woman and next man to the Moon by 2024, NASA will establish a sustained human presence on and around the Moon by 2028 through NASA’s Artemis program.

Learn more about the Mars 2020 mission at:


For more about America’s Moon to Mars exploration approach, visit:


News Media Contact

Sean Potter
NASA Headquarters, Washington


News Network

  • Secretary Antony J. Blinken And Japanese Foreign Minister Yoshimasa Hayashi Before Their Meeting
    In Crime Control and Security News
    Antony J. Blinken, [Read More…]
  • Maryland Nuclear Engineer and Spouse Arrested on Espionage-Related Charges
    In Crime News
    Jonathan and Diana Toebbe, both of Annapolis, Maryland, were arrested in Jefferson County, West Virginia, by the FBI and the Naval Criminal Investigative Service (NCIS) on Saturday, Oct. 9.
    [Read More…]
  • Secretary Antony J. Blinken on the Passing of Former Secretary of State Colin L. Powell
    In Crime Control and Security News
    Antony J. Blinken, [Read More…]
  • Justice Department Seeks to Shut Down Chicago Tax Return Preparer
    In Crime News
    The United States filed a complaint in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois today seeking to bar a Chicago area tax return preparer from preparing federal income tax returns for others. 
    [Read More…]
  • New Jersey Man Sentenced to Prison for Tax Fraud Conspiracy
    In Crime News
    A New Jersey man was sentenced to 78 months in prison today for conspiring to defraud the United States, filing false claims, and obstructing the internal revenue laws, announced Acting Deputy Assistant Attorney General Stuart M. Goldberg of the Justice Department’s Tax Division.
    [Read More…]
  • Readout of Justice Department, HHS Listening Session on the Bipartisan COVID-19 Hate Crimes Act with Organizations Representing Communities Impacted by Hate
    In Crime News
    Yesterday, Attorney General Merrick B. Garland and Secretary of Health and Human Services Xavier Becerra co-hosted a listening session with stakeholders on the bipartisan COVID-19 Hate Crimes Act, which was signed into law by President Biden on May 20. Under the legislation, the Department of Justice and the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), in coordination with the COVID-19 Health Equity Task Force and community-based organizations, are required to issue guidance aimed at raising awareness of hate crimes during the COVID-19 pandemic. The session was moderated by Associate Attorney General Vanita Gupta.  
    [Read More…]
  • Workforce Diversity: Analysis of Federal Data Shows Hispanics Are Underrepresented in the Media Industry
    In U.S GAO News
    What GAO Found Hispanics are underrepresented in the media industry compared to their representation in the rest of the workforce, according to GAO's analysis of American Community Survey (ACS) data from the U.S. Census Bureau. In 2019, the most recent year data were available, Hispanics made up an estimated 12 percent of workers in the media industry, which includes film, television, publishing, and news, compared to an estimated 18 percent of workers in the rest of the workforce, which includes all other industries combined. Hispanic representation remained at an estimated 11 to 12 percent of the media industry workforce from 2014-2019, according to GAO's analysis of ACS data. The estimated percentage of Hispanic workers varied by media sector. In 2019, the estimated percentage of Hispanic workers ranged from 8 percent in the publishing subsector to 16 percent for the film and video industry subsector. Hispanic representation also varied by occupation. We analyzed ACS data on the race/ethnicity of workers in 13 media occupations and found, on average, about 11 percent of these workers were Hispanic. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) data for 2018, the most recent year data were available, provide a different breakout of occupations that further inform the racial and ethnic makeup of the media industry. According to Employer Information Reports (EEO-1) submitted by media companies to the EEOC, service worker positions—food service, cleaning service, personal service, and protective service—had the highest percentage of Hispanic workers (22 percent). Eight percent of professional positions in the media industry were held by Hispanics. Hispanics were least likely to work in first- and mid-level management positions (7 percent) and in senior/executive management positions (4 percent), according to media companies' reports to EEOC. Why GAO Did This Study The media industry plays an important role in educating and entertaining the public, but some have questioned the industry's commitment to workforce diversity, including for Hispanic workers. The U.S. Census Bureau collects employment and race/ethnicity information from individuals living in the U.S. EEOC collects data from employers on the race/ethnicity of their workers and which positions they hold. GAO was asked to review representation of Hispanics in the media industry, including in the film, television, and publishing industries. This report examines representation of Hispanics in the media industry and in specific media occupations. GAO analyzed workforce data, including the Census Bureau's annual American Community Survey data for 2014-2019 and EEOC annual Employer Information Reports for 2014-2018, the latest data available during GAO's review. For more information, contact Dawn Locke at (202) 512-7215 or locked@gao.gov.
    [Read More…]
  • Deputy Secretary Biegun Remarks at the U.S.-India Strategic Partnership Forum
    In Crime Control and Security News
    Stephen Biegun, Deputy [Read More…]
  • Designations of Former Honduran President Porfirio “Pepe” Lobo Sosa and Former First Lady Rosa Elena Bonilla Avila for Involvement in Significant Corruption
    In Crime Control and Security News
    Antony J. Blinken, [Read More…]
  • Attorney General Merrick B. Garland Honors Nation’s Law Enforcement During National Police Week
    In Crime News
    In honor of National Police Week, Attorney General Merrick B. Garland recognizes the service and sacrifice of federal, state, local, and Tribal law enforcement. This year, the week is observed Sunday, May 9 through Saturday, May 15, 2021.
    [Read More…]
  • Justice Department Settles Title VII Lawsuit Against Tallahatchie County, Mississippi, Alleging Intentional Discrimination Based on Race
    In Crime News
    The Department of Justice announced today that it has reached a settlement agreement resolving the United States’ claims that Tallahatchie County, Mississippi, and the Tallahatchie County sheriff in his official capacity (collectively, Tallahatchie County), intentionally discriminated against Black deputy sheriffs based on their race, by paying them less than white deputy sheriffs, in violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.
    [Read More…]
  • Joint Statement on the Release of the OHCHR-EHRC Joint Investigation
    In Crime Control and Security News
    Office of the [Read More…]
  • Vivint Smart Homes Inc. to Pay $3.2 Million to Resolve Allegations of False Statements to Federally Insured Bank
    In Crime News
    Vivint Smart Home Inc. (Vivint), based in Provo, Utah, has agreed to pay the United States $3.2 million to resolve allegations under the Financial Institutions Reform, Recovery, and Enforcement Act of 1989 (FIRREA) that Vivint employees made false statements to secure financing for customers’ purchases of Vivint’s home monitoring products, the Justice Department announced today. FIRREA imposes civil penalties on any person or entity that violates certain predicate federal statutes.
    [Read More…]
  • Small Business Administration: COVID-19 Loans Lack Controls and Are Susceptible to Fraud
    In U.S GAO News
    In April 2020, the Small Business Administration (SBA) moved quickly to implement the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), which provides loans that are forgivable under certain circumstances to small businesses affected by COVID-19. Given the immediate need for these loans, SBA worked to streamline the program so that lenders could begin distributing these funds as soon as possible. For example, lenders were permitted to rely on borrowers' self-certifications for eligibility and use of loan proceeds. As a result, there may be significant risk that some fraudulent or inflated applications were approved. Since May 2020, the Department of Justice has publicly announced charges in more than 50 fraud-related cases associated with PPP funds. In April 2020, SBA announced it would review all loans of more than $2 million to confirm borrower eligibility, and SBA officials subsequently stated that they would review selected loans of less than $2 million to determine, for example, whether the borrower is entitled to loan forgiveness. However, SBA did not provide details on how it would conduct either of these reviews. As of September 2020, SBA reported it was working with the Department of the Treasury and contractors to finalize the plans for the reviews. Because SBA had limited time to implement safeguards up front for loan approval, GAO believes that planning and oversight by SBA to address risks in the PPP program is crucial moving forward. SBA's efforts to expedite processing of Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDL)—such as the reliance on self-certification—may have contributed to increased fraud risk in that program as well. In July 2020, SBA's Office of Inspector General (OIG) reported indicators of widespread potential fraud—including thousands of fraud complaints—and found deficiencies with SBA's internal controls. In response, SBA maintained that its internal controls for EIDL were robust, including checks to identify duplicate applications and verify account information, and that it had provided banks with additional antifraud guidance. The Department of Justice, in conjunction with other federal agencies, also has taken actions to address potential fraud. Since May 2020, the department has announced fraud investigations related to the EIDL program and charges against recipients related to EIDL fraud. SBA has made or guaranteed more than 14.5 million loans and grants through PPP and EIDL, providing about $729 billion to help small businesses adversely affected by COVID-19. However, the speed with which SBA implemented the programs may have increased their susceptibility to fraud. This testimony discusses fraud risks associated with SBA's PPP and EIDL programs. It is based largely on GAO's reports in June 2020 (GAO-20-625) and September 2020 (GAO-20-701) that addressed the federal response, including by SBA, to the economic downturn caused by COVID-19. For those reports, GAO reviewed SBA documentation and interviewed officials from SBA, the Department of the Treasury, and associations that represent lenders and small businesses. GAO also met with officials from the SBA OIG and reviewed OIG reports. In its June 2020 report, GAO recommended that SBA develop and implement plans to identify and respond to risks in PPP to ensure program integrity, achieve program effectiveness, and address potential fraud. SBA neither agreed nor disagreed, but GAO believes implementation of this recommendation is essential. For more information, contact William B. Shear at (202) 512-4325 or shearw@gao.gov.
    [Read More…]
  • Secretary Pompeo’s Call with Kuwaiti Foreign Minister Al Sabah
    In Crime Control and Security News
    Office of the [Read More…]
  • Automated Technologies: DOT Should Take Steps to Ensure Its Workforce Has Skills Needed to Oversee Safety
    In U.S GAO News
    Stakeholders GAO interviewed said that federal oversight of automated technologies—such as those that control a function or task of a plane, train, or vehicle without human intervention—requires regulatory expertise as well as engineering, data analysis, and cybersecurity skills. Stakeholders also stated that as automated systems become more common across transportation modes, overseeing them will require understanding vehicle operating systems, software code, and the vast amounts of data produced by these systems to ensure their safety. Skills Needed to Oversee the Safety of Automated Technologies, according to Stakeholders The U.S. Department of Transportation's (DOT) Departmental Office of Human Resources Management has identified most skills DOT needs to oversee automated technologies, but it has not fully assessed whether its workforce has these skills. Through its workforce planning efforts, DOT identified many of the skills cited by stakeholders as important for overseeing automated technologies—regulatory expertise, engineering, and data analysis. In 2016 and 2020, DOT surveyed staff in related positions and identified gaps in some of these skills, including regulatory expertise. However, DOT did not survey staff or assess skill gaps in data analysis or cybersecurity positions important to automated technology oversight. As a result, DOT lacks critical information needed to identify skill gaps and ensure key relevant staff are equipped to oversee the safety of these technologies now and in the future. DOT developed strategies to address some but not all gaps in skills needed to oversee automated technologies. For example, DOT implemented some recruiting strategies and established hiring goals as a means of closing gaps identified in the 2016 survey and plans to continue these efforts in light of the 2020 survey. However, DOT has not tracked the progress of strategies implemented to close skill gaps since the 2016 survey, nor has it implemented training strategies. Accordingly, some skill gaps related to overseeing the safety of automated technologies will likely persist in DOT's workforce. Automated technologies in planes, trains, and passenger vehicles are in use today and likely to become increasingly widespread. While these technologies hold promise, accidents involving them demonstrate potential safety challenges. DOT is responsible for overseeing the safety of all modes of transportation. This report addresses: (1) stakeholders' perspectives on the skills required to oversee automated technologies; (2) the extent to which DOT has identified and assessed the skills it needs to oversee these technologies; and (3) the extent to which DOT has developed strategies to address any gaps in skills. GAO reviewed relevant literature and DOT workforce planning documents, and interviewed DOT human capital officials, selected modal administrations, and stakeholders, including transportation associations and technology developers. GAO selected modal administrations based in part on the prevalence of automated technologies. GAO is making four recommendations, including that DOT: (1) assess skill gaps in key occupations involved in overseeing automated technologies and (2) regularly measure the progress of strategies implemented to close skill gaps. DOT concurred with three recommendations and partially concurred with one on measuring progress. GAO clarified this recommendation and believes its implementation is warranted. For more information, contact Heather Krause at (202) 512-2834 or krauseh@gao.gov.
    [Read More…]
  • Barbados Travel Advisory
    In Travel
    Reconsider travel [Read More…]
  • Attorney General William P. Barr Announces Results of Operation Legend
    In Crime News
    Earlier today, Attorney General William P. Barr announced the results of Operation Legend, which was first launched in Kansas City, Missouri, on July 8, 2020, and then expanded to Chicago and Albuquerque, New Mexico, on July 22, 2020; to Cleveland, Ohio, Detroit, Michigan, and Milwaukee, Wisconsin, on July 29, 2020; to St. Louis, Missouri, and Memphis, Tennessee, on August 6, 2020; and to Indianapolis, Indiana, on August 14, 2020.
    [Read More…]
  • Joint Statement of the 47th U.S.-Israel Joint Political-Military Group
    In Crime Control and Security News
    Office of the [Read More…]
  • The United States Officially Rejoins the Paris Agreement
    In Crime Control and Security News
    Antony J. Blinken, [Read More…]


Network News © 2005 Area.Control.Network™ All rights reserved.