Is there life on Mars? We’ll find out soon

Humans are back at it!

A replica of the Mars rover on display outside the press site before a news conference at the Kennedy Space Center Wednesday, July 29, 2020, in Cape Canaveral, Florida. (AP Photo/John Raoux)

Another Mars rover is on its way to the ‘red planet’ looking for signs of life.

The sophisticated car-sized vehicle departed Cape Canaveral in Florida today, July 30, for a seven-month journey to Mars. The spacecraft is tricked out with the latest in cameras, microphones, drills and lasers as it looks to help determine if there is life beyond Earth.

Perseverance, as the rover is dubbed, will aim to bring back the first samples of rocks from Mars for analysis in 2031.

A United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket lifts off from pad 41 at the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station Thursday, July 30, 2020, in Cape Canaveral, Florida. (AP Photo/John Raoux)

The rover’s departure was the third one in less than two weeks as China and the United Arab Emirates both set off on individual missions to the planet last week.

The 480-million kilometre trip costs over US$8 billion and will see the rover return in a decade with specimens to be analysed for life.

The US is the only country to have safely put a spacecraft on Mars and will be looking for a ninth successful mission.