National Environmental Policy Act; Mars 2020 Mission
Pursuant to the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (NEPA), as amended, the Council on Environmental Quality Regulations for Implementing the Procedural Provisions of NEPA, and NASA's procedures for implementing NEPA, NASA intends to prepare a supplement to the Final Environmental Impact Statement for the Mars 2020 Mission (Supplemental EIS). The Supplemental EIS will provide updated information related to the potential environmental impacts associated with the proposed Mars 2020 mission. The updated information is pertinent to the consequence and risk analyses of potential accidents which could occur during the launch phases of the mission. Although the probability of such accidents occurring is highly unlikely, it is possible that under certain conditions an accident could result in a release of plutonium dioxide from the Multi-Mission Radioisotope Thermoelectric Generator (MMRTG). The MMRTG is a critical component of the Mars 2020 rover; it would enable the Mars 2020 rover mission to undertake a much broader scope of scientific discovery by providing a continuous supply of electrical power and temperature control to the Mars 2020 rover while on the surface of Mars. The Mars 2020 spacecraft would launch onboard an Atlas V launch vehicle from the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station (CCAFS), Brevard County, Florida, during the summer of 2020. Additional information about the mission may be found on the internet at: https:// mars.nasa.gov/mars2020/.