Volga-Dnepr delivers rocket booster for NASA Mars mission

Atlas 5 rocket will take off for Mars on 17 July
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Freight carrier Volga-Dnepr has delivered a rocket booster for NASA’s next Mars Rover mission.

Volga-Dnepr transported the 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-meter 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 for 17 July.

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