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NASA’s Mars 2020 Preserverance rover mission launched from the Cap Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida today (July 30) at 7:50 a.m. ET.

The rover is making its way to the red planet to search for signs of ancient life and collect samples to send back to Earth.

The Perseverance rover’s mission will seek out signs of past microscopic life, however, it will also help Earth prepare for future robotic and human exploration.

“With the launch of Perseverance, we begin another historic mission of exploration,” said NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine in a press release. “This amazing explorer’s journey has already required the very best from all of us to get it to launch through these challenging times. Now we can look forward to its incredible science and to bringing samples of Mars home even as we advance human missions to the Red Planet. As a mission, as an agency, and as a country, we will persevere.”

Learn more about the Mars 2020 mission at https://www.nasa.gov/mars2020.