NASA launched its largest and most advanced Mars rover ever from Cape Canaveral, Florida, on Thursday morning. The rover, called Perseverance, will collect Martian rocks and return them to Earth to be analyzed for evidence of ancient life. The launch is the third destined for Mars this summer, with both China and the United Arab Emirates launching their spacecraft last week. All three are set to arrive at the red planet in February 2021. Perseverance will return to Earth in 2031 after spending its 10-year stay drilling the planet to collect specimens for study. The U.S. is the only country to have successfully landed a rover on Mars, and Perseverance, if successful, would be its ninth landing. China is also sending a rover, as well as an orbiter, to Mars, while the UAE is sending just an orbiter.
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