The US on Thursday launched a rocket carrying NASA’s Perseverance Mars Rover, aimed to search for signs of past microscopic life, NASA confirmed.

The Atlas V 541 rocket carrying the rover and a probe helicopter was launched at 7:50 a.m. local time from, Florida, US.

The Perseverance has begun its journey toward Mars and it is expected to reach the Red Planet in February 2021.  

The CBS News reported that the $2.4 billion nuclear-powered Mars rover will drop off an experimental $80 million helicopter which will be able to hover above the surface of Mars. 

The mission will look for signs of past microbial life and collect rock and soil samples for eventual return to Earth.

The Perseverance Mars rover will test technology that could be one day used for the human landing mission by extracting oxygen from the thin carbon dioxide atmosphere, the report said.

It is the third Mars probe launch in the past two weeks. Back to last Thursday, China sent Tianwen-1 consists of an orbiter and a lander/rover duo toward the Red Planet. Earlier, the UAE in its first attempt succeed to launch its Mars Mission called Hope.