NASA safely landed a new robotic rover on Mars on Thursday,
beginning its most ambitious effort in decades to directly study
whether there was ever life on the now barren red planet.
While the agency has completed other missions to Mars, the $2.7
billion robotic explorer, named Perseverance, carries scientific
tools that will bring advanced capabilities to the search for life
beyond Earth. The rover, about the size of a car, can use its
sophisticated cameras, lasers that can analyze the chemical makeup
of Martian rocks and ground-penetrating radar to identify the
chemical signatures of fossilized microbial life that may have
thrived on Mars when it was a planet full of flowing water.
Great landing, and a great day for science.