NASA has launched a new Mars 2020 spacecraft designed to search the skies for signs of extraterrestrial life.
The Mars 2020 mission will fly to Mars in 2022 and will be equipped with a robotic lander, a deep-space probe and a rover.
NASA officials say the spacecraft will explore the Gale Crater, a crater in Mars’ Gale Craters Gale Crust that once contained water and formed a global floodplain.
The probe will also carry a camera that will look for signs that water may have flowed through the crater floor.
The rover, which will be called MAVEN, will look into the Martian soil and examine its mineral composition to help researchers understand how life began on Earth.
It will also explore the Martian surface for signs evidence of past water activity.
“The Mars 2020 rover will be able to search a broad swath of the planet’s surface and identify many new geologic features,” said the mission’s chief scientist, John Grunsfeld.
“If we can get our hands on these new features, we will be the first to find signs of life on Mars.”
The Mars rover is called the MAVEN spacecraft, for Mars Atmosphere and Volatile Evolution mission.
The mission is expected to cost $2.5 billion.
The spacecraft is being developed by Boeing Co., and the company is launching the rover on a Boeing 747-400 jetliner from Dulles Airport in Virginia.
The company has already spent more than $700 million on the spacecraft, and the program has already received about $7 billion in federal funding.
The space agency also plans to launch a new probe, called MAHLI, which is scheduled to land on Mars in 2024.
MAHLi is the Mars Exploration Rover Initiative and has been developed by the NASA Ames Research Center in Moffett Field, California.
NASA’s Mars 2020 project is named after NASA’s first crewed spacecraft, which was launched in 1970.
The project’s name was changed to Mars 2020 after the agency announced the launch of its new spacecraft.
The new spacecraft is the first in a series of missions to the red planet, with a total cost of $2 billion.
NASA is still investigating the origins and origin of life.
“This mission will explore Mars and its environment to better understand the origins, evolution and potential for life,” NASA said in a statement.
“We are committed to doing our part to solve the mysteries of the red world by looking for evidence of life.”