Major Mars Landing Hours Away, Here’s How to Stay in the Loop

Years of hard work and billions of dollars spent have led to this unique moment in time, a moment when the Perseverance rover will touch down on Mars and begin perhaps the most ambitious space exploration mission ever attempted.
This is how the Perseverance rover will arrive on Mars 1 photo
Photo: NASA/JPL-Caltech
Perseverance, tucked away in its spaceship, is currently devouring the last miles that separate it from Mars. It will begin its descent soon, with a planned touchdown in the Jezero crater at 3:55 p.m. EST.

UPDATE: Perseverance has landed!

Compared to the planned landing, the rover's launch and very long trip through space will seem like child play. The ship carrying it will hit the Martian atmosphere at over 12,000 mph (about 20,000 kph), slowly shedding speed as it moves through the upper layers. Using friction, a parachute, but also engines to slow it down, Perseverance will have to be at just 2 mph (3 kph) when the descent stage lowers it down to the ground using three cables.

“If there’s one thing we know, it’s that landing on Mars is never easy,” said in a statement NASA Associate Administrator for Communications Marc Etkind.

“But as NASA’s fifth Mars rover, Perseverance has an extraordinary engineering pedigree and mission team. We are excited to invite the entire world to share this exciting event with us!”

The American space agency is already gearing up for what will be a very stressful day ahead. The organization will share its emotions, but also the success or failure of the mission with the world, as it will be broadcasting landing commentary live.

If you plan on watching the action yourself (no live images from Mars, of course), there are several ways to do this. NASA will begin live coverage at 2:15 p.m. in English and, for the first time in its history, in Spanish. Every social media channel has been taken into account when preparing the coverage: the moment will be broadcast on the NASA TV Public Channel and the agency’s website, as well as the NASA App, YouTube, Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitch, Daily Motion, and THETA.TV.

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About the author: Daniel Patrascu
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Daniel loves writing (or so he claims), and he uses this skill to offer readers a "behind the scenes" look at the automotive industry. He also enjoys talking about space exploration and robots, because in his view the only way forward for humanity is away from this planet, in metal bodies.
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