The next Mars rover, Perseverance, just hours away from nail-biting touch down

Don't forget to tune in this afternoon, 3:55pm Eastern time, to see if NASA's Mars Perseverance rover can stick the landing.

After zipping hundreds of millions of miles through space, the Mars rover Perseverance is just hours away from attempting to land on the red planet in what has been described as one of the most daring robotic maneuvers in NASA's history.

The car-size rover, which launched in July 2020, is aiming to touch down on Mars on Thursday at around 3:55 p.m. ET. If successful, Perseverance will become NASA's fifth rover to land on the red planet and will kick off the agency's most ambitious mission yet to examine whether life ever existed on Mars.

"Perseverance is attempting to answer one of the biggest questions in the history of humanity: Is there life elsewhere in the solar system?" said Chris Carberry, co-founder and CEO of Explore Mars, a nonprofit organization that advocates for human exploration of the planet. "If people can't get excited about this mission, I don't know what's wrong with them."

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