This mission is being designed to launch in 2020 and to enable surface operations lasting one Mars year (about 687 Earth days).
The phases of the mission would include:
- Prelaunch Activities: Preparation for the mission, including pre-project planning, science definition, landing site selection, assembly and testing, and delivery to Cape Canaveral
- Launch: Lift-off from Earth
- Cruise: Voyage through space
- Approach: Nearing the red planet Mars
- Entry, Descent, and Landing: Journey through the martian atmosphere to the surface
- Instrument Checks and First Drive: After landing when engineers first conduct tests to ensure the rover is in a "safe state"
- Surface Operations: Learning about Mars through the day-to-day activities of the rover