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NASA's next Mars rover is brawniest and brainiest one yet

NASA's next Mars rover is brawniest and brainiest one yet
Posted at 5:06 PM, Jul 27, 2020
and last updated 2020-07-27 18:29:09-04

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (AP) — NASA is upping the ante with its newest rover headed to Mars.

Set to rocket away this week from Florida, the spacecraft named Perseverance is NASA's brawniest and brainiest Martian rover yet.

It sports the latest landing tech, plus the most cameras and microphones ever assembled to capture the sights and sounds of Mars.

Space Mars NASA
In this image taken on May 20, 2020 at the Kennedy Space Center, engineers and technicians insert 39 sample tubes into the belly of the rover. Each tube is sheathed in a gold-colored cylindrical enclosure to protect it from contamination. Perseverance rover will carry 43 sample tubes to the Red Planet's Jezero Crater. Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech pia23919-1041

With eight successful Mars landings, NASA is shooting for its riskiest touchdown site by far, an ancient river delta full of boulders and cliffs that may harbor signs of ancient life.

It's the third and final mission to Mars this summer, after the United Arab Emirates and China.

NASA says the mission will launch at 7:50 a.m. EDT on Thursday.