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Nasa Mars landing: How to watch Perseverance‘s arrival live – and why you should tune in for dangerous descent

Andrew Griffin
Thursday 18 February 2021 20:18 GMT
Watch live as Nasa’s Perseverance rover lands on Mars
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Nasa is about to attempt a daring and dangerous descent onto Mars.

The Perseverance rover will drop down through the atmosphere and onto the surface.

If it succeeds, it will look for evidence of past life, and may provide the first ever proof that aliens existed on the red planet.

:: Follow live: Nasa’s rover Perseverance arrives at Mars

Failure, however, is not unlikely. 19 spacecraft have tried to land on Mars – and only eight of them have ever done it successfully.

As such, the descent is likely to make for thrilling viewing. It will either be the culmination of years of work and billions of dollars of investment in a seven minute descent that could change our understanding of space – or it will be a catastrophic failure that ends in tragedy.

Read more:Five things Nasa’s Mars rover is taking to the Red Planet today

But it is not just the thrill of the difficult journey that the live coverage offers. Nasa engineers and scientists will also be providing detailed information on the trip, its context, and what it plans to accomplish.

The actual landing will happen around 9pm UK time, or 4pm eastern. But coverage will begin at 7.15pm UK time, or 2.15pm eastern.

It will be available on Independent TV. Live blog coverage on The Independent is also being offered through the day.

Nasa will also be offering its own coverage just about anywhere you might care to watch it. It will be hosted on the NASA TV Public Channel and the agency’s website, as well as the NASA AppYouTubeTwitterFacebookLinkedInTwitchDaily Motion, and THETA.TV.

It will also be posting live on its Twitter accounts – @NASA@NASAPersevere@NASAMars – as well as on the Nasa Instagram and Facebook pages.

There won’t, of course, be all that much to watch during the actual event. The rover can’t send back anything like live images, so you won’t get to see the actual descent.

But Nasa’s live coverage will include experts, ways to get involved, and perhaps most important of all the live moments as mission controllers receive the important signals back from the rover.

The rover will keep its engineers updated as it falls through the atmosphere and drops to the ground, meaning that while they won’t be able to see its trip, they will be kept up-to-date with to-the-minute information – albeit delayed by 11 minutes, as it makes its way over the vast expanse of space between us and Mars.

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