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NASA launches historic Mars rover Perseverance

The rover was launched from Cape Canaveral

Updated: July 30, 2020 - 5:11pm

NASA on Thursday launched Perseverance, the biggest, most sophisticated Mars rover in history.

The car-sized vehicle blasted off from Cape Canaveral, in Florida, aboard the Atlas V rocket, amid clear skies on the state's Space Coast. 

Perseverance is equipped with cameras, microphones, drills and lasers, according to the Associated Press. Its launch is part of an ambitious, long-range NASA effort to rock samples from Mars and return them to Earth to be analyzed for signs of ancient life.

Already this summer, China and the United Arab Emirates have had Mars launches. All are projected to reach the planet in February – ending a seven months, 300-million-mile trip, according to the wire service.