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Watch NASA's Perseverance Rover Landing On Mars

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NASA's Perseverance rover is set to land on Mars today.

The vehicle launched last July. Its mission includes looking for signs of ancient life and collecting rock samples to one day send them back to Earth.

The car-size rover was built at JPL in Pasadena.

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Matt Smith, an engineer with NASA, says the moments before touchdown are nerve-wrecking and there's a lot to do before the rover can even move.

"Once it's on the surface, we'll do a bunch of check outs of the instruments, we have to do some activities are called deployments, there's a mast that pops up, it kind of looks like a little like WALL-E head on top of the rover. So we need to deploy that, we need to deploy some antennas, and so it probably won't be until a few days after landing that we would ever start our first drive."

The Perseverance rover is scheduled to land at 12:55 p.m. PST. You can explore the rover in 3-D at NASA's site.

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