News media are invited to NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, to tour the Spacecraft Assembly Facility clean room to see Mars 2020 — NASA’s next spacecraft headed to the Red Planet — and interview mission team members on Friday, Dec. 27. The clean room is where the rover was constructed and is undergoing final testing. On display will be the rover, its rocket-powered descent stage and the mission’s cruise stage.Experts from the mission will be available for comment inside and outside the clean room.


This is the one and only opportunity for media to see the Mars 2020 mission components in JPL’s clean room before it ships to Kennedy Space Center in Florida. Space is limited; all media must RSVP in advance and be pre-approved. 


The event will be from 8 a.m. to 11 a.m. PST, with two pre-reserved time slots available: 8 a.m. to 10 a.m., and 9 a.m. to 11 a.m.


The launch window for the Mars 2020 rover opens in July 2020. The mission marks NASA’s next step in the exploration of the Red Planet and will help pave the way for human exploration of Mars. After the rover lands at Mars’ Jezero Crater on Feb. 18, 2021, it will characterize the planet’s climate and geology, seeking signs of ancient habitable conditions and past microbial life. But the rover also will also collect rock and soil samples, storing them in tubes that will be deposited on the Martian surface. NASA and the European Space Agency are studying future mission concepts to retrieve the samples and return them to Earth.


RSVP to Jia-Rui Cook in the JPL Media Relations Office at 818-354-0724 or by 3 p.m. PST on Thursday, Dec. 19. Valid photo I.D. and media credentials are required, and non-U.S. citizens must also bring a passport.


Clean Room Guidelines


One of Mars 2020 mission goals is to cache samples of Mars for future return to Earth. This historical first in the annals of space exploration comes with unique criteria for cleanliness during spacecraft assembly and testing. Due to strict cleanliness requirements for this mission, media approved for this media day will be sent a list of guidelines for clothing and equipment that must be adhered to in order to enter the clean room.


For more information about the mission, visit: