Touchdown is approximately 3:55 p.m. EST Thursday, Feb. 18.
Live coverage and landing commentary from NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Southern California will begin at 2:15 p.m.
Where to watch the Mars rover landing
Among the many firsts with this mission is the agency’s first-ever Spanish-language show for a planetary landing. On Thursday, Feb. 18, at 2:30 p.m.,
NASA will air “Juntos perseveramos,” a show that will give viewers an overview of the mission to Mars and highlight the role Hispanic NASA professionals have had in its success.
Also today, celebrating the Mars landing –
Thursday is dedicated to space exploration events. Today’s events include:
Space Time with a Space Guardian: a STEM education program aimed at 2nd – 6th grade students.
The program teaches kids about how space is part of their daily lives, and covers exciting topics like space launches, satellites, space debris, the history of the US in space, the U.S. Space Force (USSF) and the importance of a solid STEM education if they are interested working in any sector of the space enterprise.
On Feb. 18, Krispy Kreme will celebrate this important day in space exploration with a discovery of its own: The Mars Doughnut.
Designed to look like the red planet, the limited-edition doughnut’s looks are surpassed only by its deliciousness – a Chocolate Kreme-filled doughnut dipped in caramel icing with a red planet swirl and sprinkled with chocolate cookie crumbs.
In addition to toting the first-ever helicopter to be deployed on Mars, the rover also is carrying the names of nearly 11 million people who participated in NASA’s “Send Your Name to Mars” program. To celebrate these special space “travelers,” Krispy Kreme will give each one FREE Mars Doughnut on Feb. 18. “Travelers” can show their NASA-issued Perseverance “boarding pass” to redeem in-shop on Feb. 18.
Here’s a preview of the Mars landing, from NASA
More about the NASA Mars rover
During landing, the rover will plunge through the thin Martian atmosphere at more than 12,000 mph (about 20,000 kph). A parachute and powered descent will slow the rover down to about 2 mph (3 kph).
During what is known as the sky crane maneuver, the descent stage will lower the rover on three cables to land softly on six wheels at Jezero Crater.
Perseverance also is carrying a technology experiment – the Ingenuity Mars Helicopter – that will attempt the first powered, controlled flight on another planet.
“If there’s one thing we know, it’s that landing on Mars is never easy,” said 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!”
Design, build, and land your own spacecraft – just like NASA scientists and engineers do.
Join NASA’s Mission to Mars Student Challenge, where classrooms, informal education groups, families and individuals will be able to participate in landing week question-and-answer sessions with mission experts and submit student questions and work that could be featured during NASA broadcasts leading up to and on landing day.
A Mars 2020 STEM toolkit also is available, with stories on the students who named Perseverance and Ingenuity, opportunities to code your own Mars exploration games, and more.
You also can try out a virtual photo booth that allows you to pose next to the Perseverance rover, listen to the differences between sounds on Mars and Earth, and check out other interactive experiences on the mission’s website.
Send Your Name to Mars
Perseverance is carrying three dime-size chips with 11 million names submitted by people all over the world. Anyone who missed the chance to send their name on Perseverance can sign up to send their name on a future Mars mission at