NASA’s Perseverance rover launches from Florida, beginning a decade-long quest to find out if Mars ever harbored life

“We know from other studies, other rovers and orbiters that is a key time in Mars history,” Chris Herd, a sample return scientist who works at the University of Alberta in Canada, said of the crater. “When it transitioned from being a warmer, wetter environment at the surface with nice neutral water to being more acidic waters, and then eventually drying out and rusting and turning red like we see it today.”