Where is the Perseverance Rover?

What am I looking at?

You're looking inside the Payload Hazardous Servicing Facility at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida. This is where the Perseverance rover is being processed and prepared for launch in July from Cape Canaveral. These photos were taken after the rover was shipped from NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, where it was built and tested.

About the Mars 2020 Mission

The spacecraft and rover are part of NASA's Mars Exploration Program, a series of missions to piece together the story of whether Mars has ever been habitable. Perseverance will look for past signs of habitability, as well as signs of past life. The rover will cache rock and soil samples on the Martian surface for pickup and return to Earth by a potential future mission.

Read more about Mars 2020 ›


The cruise stage, descent stage, aeroshell and rover together make up the spacecraft. As the spacecraft travels down through the Martian atmosphere, certain parts fall away one by one until the rover is safely on solid Martian ground.

Read more about the spacecraft ›
Cruise Stage

Cruise Stage

The cruise stage is the configuration in which Mars 2020 travels to Mars. It includes the aeroshell (backshell and heatshield), in which the rover and its landing system are safely tucked away.
Back Shell


The aeroshell connects to the bottom of the descent stage. It consists of a backshell and heatshield, and that protects the rover from the intense heat experienced during entry into the Martian atmosphere.
Heat Shield

Descent Stage

The descent stage separates from the cruise stage upon arrival in Mars orbit and delivers the rover safely to the ground.
Heat Shield


The rover is a six-wheeled vehicle with science instruments that will make discoveries and collect samples from the Martian surface.

Read more about the rover ›
Heat Shield

Heat Shield

The heat shield is part of the cruise stage, and drops away after Mars 2020 has entered the Martian atmosphere.


  • Spring 2019 Rover Assembly
  • Summer/Fall 2019 Spacecraft Assembly and Stacking
  • February 2020 Spacecraft Ships to Kennedy Space Center
  • Summer 2020 Vehicle Stacking to Launch Configuration
  • July 2020 Launch Period Opens

Launch Updates ›