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

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.