NASA's Perseverance rover launches on mission to find life on Mars - National Geographic
Posted: 30 Jul 2020 04:55 AM PDT
At 7:50 a.m. ET, NASA's Perseverance rover, bound for Mars, blasted off from Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Florida. Soaring into the sky atop an Atlas V rocket, Perseverance is now settling in for its seven-month interplanetary flight. The rover's target: Jezero Crater, the site of an ancient crater lake and an erstwhile river delta that the rover will scour for signs of past Martian life.With its newest, $2.4-billion robot en route to Mars, NASA is setting out to answer a question that has nagged humanity for as long as astronomers have pointed telescopes at the reddish world: Is there—or was there once—life on our neighboring planet?"Our strategy is to look very deep in time, back to this time when we believe Mars and Earth were much more similar," says deputy project scientist Ken Williford of NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL). "Studying Mars and its ancient environments—what can we learn about our place in the universe? Are we alone? Have we always been alone?"
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