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Watch NASA build its next Mars rover

Rover scheduled to launch in July 2020

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PASADENA, Calif. – A newly installed webcam offers a live bird's-eye view of NASA's Mars 2020 rover as it takes shape at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California.

Viewers can watch as JPL engineers and technicians assemble and test the rover before it embarks next year on one of the most technologically challenging interplanetary missions ever designed.

"There is so much happening and changing in the clean room, I come here every opportunity I get," said Mars 2020 project manager John McNamee, of JPL. "It is great that we can share this part of our journey to the red planet with the public anytime they want."

Known as "Seeing 2020," the webcam provides the video feed (without audio) from a viewing gallery above the clean room floor.

Guests can also watch and participate in live webchats with members of JPL's social media team and the Mars 2020 team as they answer questions from the public about the mission. The "Seeing 2020" webchats are scheduled Monday through Thursday at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. EDT.

Continuous live video of rover construction is available at:

https://mars.nasa.gov/mars2020/mission/where-is-the-rover/

The feed is also available on YouTube, with the scheduled, moderated chats in the player below.

Months of final assembly and testing lie ahead before the Mars 2020 rover is ready to ship to NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida.

The launch period begins July 17, 2020. Once the Mars 2020 rover arrives on Mars Feb. 18, 2021, it will not only seek signs of ancient habitable conditions -- and past microbial life -- but will collect rock and soil samples, storing them in sample tubes on the planet's surface.