How to watch the epic landing of NASA’s Perseverance Mars rover
NASA’s Perseverance Mars rover is set to touch down on the red planet on Thursday, and there is a way to see the epic event live.
Perseverance Mars Rover will make a historical landing on Mars, which will also mark a new era of space exploration. Although NASA successfully landed or delivered machines to the red planet in the past, it does not automatically mean that the Perseverance landing will come easy.
NASA already stated that landing a machine on the surface of Mars is hard. In fact, it was regarded as one of the most complicated processes concerning the exploration of the planet.
“Landing on Mars is hard…Only about 40% of the missions ever sent to Mars — by any space agency — have been successful,” NASA states on its website.
The space agency will provide the public with live coverage of the historic landing. There will be a NASA TV broadcast from mission control on Thursday, Feb. 18 at 11:15 a.m. PT in the U.S. or 2:15 p.m. ET. It will be at 7:15 p.m. in the UK and it will be at the early morning of Friday, Feb. 19 in Asian countries. The live broadcast will be at 4:15 a.m. in Japan and in China, which is an hour behind Japan, it will be at 3:15 a.m.
Although the Perseverance landing is not the first-ever trip to Mars, there is still so much interest in its trip to the red planet because according to Alice Gorman, a space archeologist at the Flinders University in Australia, the trip highlights humanity’s search for life beyond the Earth.
“People feel towards the rovers because they’re active and they move,” Gorman told Cnet. She likened that connection to a parental sense of attachment.
In 2019, the world mourned the demise of NASA’s Opportunity Mars rover after several attempts at reviving the machine failed. It was hit by a massive dust storm in 2018, which blotted its solar panels and it thereafter lost its ability to communicate with Earth.
With the upcoming landing of the Perseverance Mars rover, hopes are high once more. It simply needs to survive the Entry, Descent, and Landing (EDL), which scientists call the seven minutes of terror.
“During landing, the rover plunges through the thin Martian atmosphere, with the heat shield first, at a speed of over 12,000 mph,” said an explainer.
If everything goes well, Perseverance will be standing on Mars’ surface. There will be a first photo that will be transmitted after the landing but a full visual and audio experience may still take a few more days before NASA can share it.