NASA’s latest Mars rover launched into space last summer, and after nearly seven months of space travel it’s now on its final descent to the Red Planet. The Mars 2020 Perseverance rover will land on Mars on Thursday, Feb. 18, and you can watch the whole thing live. Here’s how.
How to watch the Mars rover landing
The Mars Perseverance rover is expected to touch down around 3:55 pm ET on Thursday, and you can find the official live coverage of the event starting at 2:15 pm ET on NASA TV and NASA’s website.
The agency will also host a live stream on YouTube (plus a Spanish-language feed), and you can find additional coverage and commentary on all of its social media accounts:
Finally, you can tune into a 360-degree live stream of mission control via the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory YouTube channel or the mission control audio feed on JPLraw.
Social media event
NASA is also hosting its #CountdowntoMars Landing event on Facebook, where you can watch the coverage, connect with other rover enthusiasts and participate in a Q&A with NASA team members.
What to expect with the landing
Perseverance is expected to take about seven minutes for its self-guided descent from the top of Mars’ atmosphere to its landing spot in the Jezero Crater—but it takes just over 11 minutes for the signal from the rover to reach mission control on Earth.
That means that by the time we know that Perseverance is on its way down, it will (hopefully) have already landed safely on Mars. NASA will receive one radio signal when the descent begins and expects to receive another indicating landing just before 4 pm ET.