The new Mars rover is ready for liftoff. On July 27, the Perseverance rover completed its launch readiness test, the last hurdle to undertake before its planned launch from the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station on July 30.

"The launch readiness review is complete, and we are indeed, go for launch," NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine said during a news conference today.

A United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket will carry Perseverance on Thursday during a two-hour window that opens at 7:50 a.m. EDT (1150 GMT). NASA has provided channels for the public who want to watch online.

The weather looks likely to cooperate with the launch as well. Launch weather officer Jessica Williams reported that there's only a 20% chance of bad weather to happen on Thursday.

Perseverance will undertake a 7-month journey to Mars, which will end upon is landing with the Jezero Crater on Feb. 18, 2021. The rover will observe the Red Planet for nearly to Earth years, exploring the crater that once was a lake that had a river delta billions of years ago. It will hunt for signs of ancient life on Mars, collect surface samples, and study the geology of the crater.

The surface samples collected by Perseverance will be brought back to Earth as early as 2031, by a joint mission by NASA and the European Space Agency. Upon the samples' arrival on our home planet, scientists will begin tests in hopes of finding signs of life, which will help unravel the mysterious history of Mars.

NASA has also tasked Perseverance to demonstrate new technologies on Mars. For instance, the rover is carrying with it a tool called MOXIE, which will attempt to generate oxygen from Mars' carbon dioxide-rich atmosphere. This tool, if proven successful, could help future manned missions on the Red Planet.

Perseverance carries with it a space helicopter called Ingenuity. The little spacecraft will detach from the rover's belly once it finds a good spot, and it will begin its test flights on Mars, which is a monumental first for mankind.

Should Ingenuity successfully complete its test flights, space helicopters will be routinely used in future Mars missions, which will serve as scouts for both astronauts and rovers. Ingenuity could also do substantial science work of their own, exploring hard-to-reach places such as caves and cliff faces.

The Perseverance rover's launch extends through Aug. 15. If it doesn't make till then, NASA will have to wait until 2022 to deploy, since the ideal alignment of the Earth and Mars only happens every two years.