The most sophisticated rover NASA has ever launched is making its way to Mars as we speak, and is scheduled to land on the planet's surface on Thursday afternoon. The landing of the Perseverance Rover is a monumental one, and it will begin a years-long journey of data collection and research. However, before any research can begin, the landing has to be completed, and that remains a tough challenge, one that everyone wants to be able to watch.
While we can't actually watch the Perseverance land on the surface of Mars, because technology just isn't quite there yet, we can watch a live feed from mission control as the count down and provide commentary on the landing itself. NASA will be streaming the event on its public TV channel here, as well as on its website, app, Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, Twitch, Daily Motion, and LinkedIn accounts.
The landing will take place around 3:55 pm ET, thought the livestream and countdown will begin a bit earlier, at 2:15 pm ET.
As explained by CBS News, there is a crucial seven-minute period when the rover enters Mars' atmosphere. This period of time is referred to as the "seven minutes of terror," and it will decide the ultimate fate of the Perseverance as it approaches its destination. Once in the atmosphere, the rover will emerge from its capsule and parachute down to the surface, hopefully landing in the Jezero Crater.
"I don't think I'm exaggerating when I say that entry, descent and landing (EDL) is the most critical and most dangerous part of the mission," said Allen Chen, the EDL lead. "Success is never assured, and that's especially true when we're trying to land the biggest, heaviest and most complicated rover we've ever built to the most dangerous site we've ever attempted to land on."
Are you going to be tuning in to catch the landing of the Perseverance on Mars? Let us know in the comments!