Mars Landing!! Watch it Live!
NASA's Perseverance rover will complete its seven-month journey to Mars and begin the shortest and by far the most intense stage of its mission: landing.
Mars 2020 is a Mars rover mission by NASA's Mars Exploration Program that includes the Perseverance rover and the Ingenuity helicopter drone. It was launched on 30 July 2020.
Touchdown is expected around 3:55 p.m. Eastern time or 20:55 UK time.
NASA Television will begin broadcasting coverage from the mission's control room at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in California at 2:15 p.m or 19:15 UK time.
YOU CAN WATCH IT LIVE HERE: (Copy and paste this into your browser):
During the descent, the spacecraft will send updates on how it is doing.
Perseverance will decelerate from nearly 20,000kmph (12,500mph) - fast enough to get from London to New York in 15 minutes - to being stationary on the planet's surface.
Four cameras are attached to the parts of the spacecraft involved in entry, descent and landing, meaning engineers will be able to put together a high-definition view of the landing process, as well as allowing people at home for the first time ever to follow along live with raw and processed images.
The mission has more cameras than any other interplanetary mission in history - 19 of them, which should send back amazing images of the Martian landscape.
Perseverance is also equipped with a miniature helicopter named Ingenuity, which weighs just 4lb (1.8kg) and will be the first rotorcraft to fly on another planet, although that test mission isn't due until a while after the landing.
The little chopper underwent a series of drills simulating the mission in a testing facility in California, including a high-vibration environment to mimic how it will hold up under the launch and landing conditions, and extreme temperature swings such as those experienced on Mars.
The autonomous test helicopter will have an on-board camera and will be powered by a solar panel, but will not contain any scientific instruments.
NASA aims to develop the drone as a prototype to see if it could be worth attaching scientific sensors to similar devices in future.
Here you are again - the NASA website to watch the landing later today! (cppy and paste it into your browser)