Perseverance rover is coming in for a Mars landing today
- 18 February 2021
Landing day is finally here. The NASA Perseverance rover, which has been on a 292.5 million-mile journey from Earth since July 30, is expected to land on Mars Thursday around 3:55 p.m. ET, APA reports citing CNN.
Perseverance is NASA's first mission that will search for signs of ancient life on another planet to help answer the big question: Was life ever present on Mars?
The rover will explore Jezero Crater, the site of an ancient lake that existed 3.9 billion years ago, and search for microfossils in the rocks and soil there. Follow-up missions will return samples of this site collected by Perseverance to Earth by the 2030s.
Along for the ride with Perseverance is an experiment to fly a helicopter, called Ingenuity, on another planet for the first time.
While we can't watch the landing "live," NASA is inviting the world to tune in to its countdown and landing commentary, which will stream live beginning on Thursday at 2:15 p.m. ET. Tune in via NASA's public TV channel, website, app, YouTube, Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitch, Daily Motion or THETA.TV. In a first, the agency will also offer a Spanish language show for the landing.
During the landing coverage, NASA's mission control team will be able to confirm if the rover safely landed on the surface of Mars.