NASA launches Perseverance rover, and in 300 million miles, it’ll land on Mars to scout out signs of life

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America’s Mars Perseverance rover launched Thursday from Cape Canaveral, the start of an 11-year quest to discover if the Red Planet ever harbored life.

Liftoff came right on schedule at 7:50 a.m., just a few minutes after NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in southern California reported feeling minor shakes from a small earthquake. There was a brief issue communicating with the spacecraft after launch, but it was resolved, NASA said. Read more here.