Editor's note: NASA's Perseverance rover successfully touched down on Mars on Feb. 18. Read the full story here.
NASA's Mars rover Perseverance is just days away from a harrowing landing on the Red Planet Thursday (Feb. 18) and you'll be able to watch the historic event unfold live online.
The Perseverance rover will land on Mars on Thursday at 3:55 p.m. EST (2055 GMT), but NASA's webcasts for the event actually begin today (Feb. 16) at 1 p.m. EST (1800 GMT).
NASA's live landing broadcast on Thursday begins at 2:15 p.m. EST (1915 GMT). You'll be able to watch that live here and on Space.com's homepage, courtesy of NASA, or directly from NASA's YouTube channel. Spanish speakers will have another broadcast available on a NASA Spanish channel in what will be the agency's first Spanish-language landing show. You can ask questions on any of NASA's social media feeds (@NASA) using the hashtag #CountdowntoMars.
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Join our forums here to discuss the Perseverance Mars rover landing. What do you hope finds?
Launched in July 2020, Perseverance is the latest in a series of missions focused on assessing how habitable Mars was in the ancient past. The mission represents a crucial pivot point in NASA's Mars exploration because the rover will cache the most promising samples for a future Mars sample-return mission to Earth later this decade, if everything goes to schedule.
Another historic first for the Perseverance mission will be a helicopter, called Ingenuity, that will test flying on Mars for the first time. The hope is to use such small drones for scouting ahead of astronaut missions, or exploring dangerous regions, in future Mars missions.
Read on for our NASA TV webcast guide for NASA's Mars Perseverance rover landing this week. NASA also has a Mars 2020 rover STEM toolkit available here for students and teachers.
Tuesday, Feb. 16
- 1 p.m. EST (1800 GMT): News briefing covering a mission overview and technology. Ask questions at @NASA using #CountdownToMars.
- 3:30 p.m. EST (2030 GMT): News briefing covering a science overview. Ask questions at @NASA using #CountdownToMars.
- 7 p.m. EST (2300 GMT): NASA Social Mars Perseverance event on YouTube
Student briefings on JPL Education Channel
- 11:30 a.m. EST (1640 GMT): High school student countdown to landing. To ask questions, register here.
- 2:30 p.m. EST (1930 GMT): Middle-school students countdown to landing webcast. To ask questions, register here.
Wednesday, Feb. 17
- 1 p.m. EST (1800 GMT): News briefing including a mission status update and a preview of the next day's landing activities. Ask questions at @NASA using #CountdownToMars.
- 3 p.m. EST (2000 GMT): News briefing including a discussion of ancient life and Mars sample return. Ask questions at @NASA using #CountdownToMars.
Student briefings on JPL Education Channel
- 12:30 p.m. EST (1750 GMT): Elementary school student countdown to landing.
- To ask questions, register here.
Thursday, Feb. 18 (landing day) and beyond
- 2:15 p.m. EST (1915 GMT): NASA Mars rover Perseverance landing webcast begins
- 2:30 p.m. EST (1930 GMT): NASA's Spanish-language Perseverance landing webcast begins
- 3:55 p.m. EST (2055 GMT): LANDING TIME for Mars rover Perseverance
- Around 5:30 p.m. EST (2230 GMT): Post landing press conference.
- Friday, Feb. 19 at 1 p.m. EST (1800 GMT): Perseverance rover update.
- Monday, Feb. 22 at 2 p.m. EST (1900 GMT): Perseverance rover update.
You can also join the Perseverance Mars rover landing virtually by signing up for NASA's social media event here. NASA also has a "virtual guest experience" available for the public to participate in to celebrate the landing.
Visit Space.com Thursday for complete coverage of the Perseverance Mars rover's landing on the Red Planet.
Follow Elizabeth Howell on Twitter @howellspace. Follow us on Twitter @Spacedotcom and on Facebook.