A United Launch Alliance Atlas V 541 rocket lifts off from Space Launch Complex 41 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida on July 30, 2020, at 7:50 a.m. EDT, carrying NASA’s Mars Perseverance rover and Ingenuity helicopter. The rover is part of NASA’s Mars Exploration Program, a long-term effort of robotic exploration of the Red Planet. The rover’s seven instruments will search for habitable conditions in the ancient past and signs of past microbial life on Mars. The Launch Services Program at Kennedy is responsible for launch management.

NASA's Mars Perseverance Rover

A United Launch Alliance Atlas V 541 rocket lifts off from Space Launch Complex 41 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida on July 30, 2020, at 7:50 a.m. EDT, carrying NASA’s Mars Perseverance rover and Ingenuity helicopter. The rover is part of NASA’s Mars Exploration Program, a long-term effort of robotic exploration of the Red Planet. The rover’s seven instruments will search for habitable conditions in the ancient past and signs of past microbial life on Mars. The Launch Services Program at Kennedy is responsible for launch management.

Photo by: NASA

NASA

A United Launch Alliance Atlas V 541 rocket lifts off from Space Launch Complex 41 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida on July 30, 2020, at 7:50 a.m. EDT, carrying NASA’s Mars Perseverance rover and Ingenuity helicopter. The rover is part of NASA’s Mars Exploration Program, a long-term effort of robotic exploration of the Red Planet. The rover’s seven instruments will search for habitable conditions in the ancient past and signs of past microbial life on Mars. The Launch Services Program at Kennedy is responsible for launch management.

NASA's Perseverance Rover is on its Way to Mars!

On Thursday, July 30th at 7:50A ET in Cape Canaveral, Florida, NASA successfully launched its Mars Perseverance rover and Ingenuity helicopter into orbit with the help of a United Launch Alliance Atlas V 541 rocket. The mission? Search for signs of ancient life on the red planet.

July 30, 2020

But don't get your hopes up about human exploration of Mars just yet. According to NASA, "The Perseverance rover is part of its Mars Exploration Program, a long-term effort of robotic exploration of the Red Planet. The rover’s seven instruments will search for habitable conditions in the ancient past and signs of past microbial life on Mars." The trek alone is 7-months long and 300-million-miles.

A United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket with NASA’s Mars 2020 Perseverance rover onboard is seen illuminated by spotlights on the launch pad at Space Launch Complex 41, Tuesday, July 28, 2020, at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida.

Mars Perseverance: Prepared for Launch to the Red Planet

A United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket with NASA’s Mars 2020 Perseverance rover onboard is seen illuminated by spotlights on the launch pad at Space Launch Complex 41, Tuesday, July 28, 2020, at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida.

Photo by: NASA/Joel Kowsky

NASA/Joel Kowsky

A United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket with NASA’s Mars 2020 Perseverance rover onboard is seen illuminated by spotlights on the launch pad at Space Launch Complex 41, Tuesday, July 28, 2020, at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida.

Depending on the evidence the rover gathers, it may help pave the way for human exploration of the red planet one day. Until then, here's everything you need to know leading up to the launch and the mission.

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