The new NASA Rover has launched perseverance, to search for old life on the Red Planet

NASA heads to the red planet.

The agency launched a new Rover, a robotic car-sized explorer named Perseverance, to Mars on an ambitious mission to search for the planet in search of clues to ancient life.

The probe, which went into orbit on Thursday at 7:50 am ET, is designed to study the geology and climate of Mars. NASA says the mission and its subsequent discoveries could lay the foundation for the eventual exploration by humans of the Red Planet.

Perseverance is loaded with seven scientific tools to explore the Martian landscape and assess whether the planet is capable of sustaining life. The six also carries small helicopter wheels, dubbed Ingenuity, for experimental flights in the thin atmosphere of Mars, which, if successful, would be a landmark in the powered flight.

"For the first time ever, we will fly a helicopter on another planet," NASA director Jim Pridenstein said at a news conference on Monday, adding that future missions to other worlds could use similar helicopters as airborne scouts.

The Perseverance spacecraft was launched on an Atlas V missile from Cape Canaveral Air Station in Florida. Usually, crowds gather along beaches near Cape Canaveral to watch the launch of NASA, but due to the coronary virus pandemic, the agency encouraged space lovers to stay home and share by default, instead - especially as new infections continue to rise in Florida and across the country .

Matt Wallace, deputy expedition project director at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, said the vehicle had already risen to its name, as engineers persevered in the epidemic to prepare the spacecraft for its much-anticipated launch.

Wallace said: "There was nothing that prepared us for what we had to deal with in mid-March with the outbreak of the epidemic - not just our team, but communities across the country and the world." "At that point in the mission, we were in our final rally activities."

NASA had a narrow 20-day launch window during which the orbits of Earth and Mars would be optimally aligned. He said that if the mission was delayed until later, due to the epidemic or otherwise, the agency would have to wait "a few years" for the next opportunity.

But Wallace said that the teams had passed through difficult conditions, and that the boat was ready to start its journey to Mars. As an indication of the impact of the epidemic and the heroic actions of healthcare professionals around the world, mission engineers have attached a plate to the spacecraft depicting the spacecraft leaving the Earth, with the planet sitting over the medical symbol of an employee with a snake entangled around it.

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