Mars Landing 2012 Image Credit: NASA Artist Rendering
It’s the most ballyhooed mission I remember. NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) is partnering with uStream for a live feed of the landing, which is scheduled for 10:31 p.m. Sunday PT (1:31 a.m. ET August 6 2012 ). The feed below is already live at 5 p.m. PT with various press events. It will be up many hours after for various news conferences all around the world.
August 5, 2012 10:55 UPDATE: The craft arrived safely and on time. However, NASA.GOV — the NASA site — is down due to traffic. Find its first live pictures at another site NASA and JPL created. Pointed is from the NASA site.
As of early Sunday afternoon PT, NASA was reporting an on-schedule arrival. Reps from NASA and JPL said:
With Mars looming ever larger in front of it, NASA’s Mars Science Laboratory spacecraft and its Curiosity rover are in the final stages of preparing for entry, descent and landing on the Red Planet at 10:31 p.m. PDT Aug. 5 (1:31 a.m. EDT Aug. 6). Curiosity remains in good health with all systems operating as expected. Today, the flight team uplinked and confirmed commands to make minor corrections to the spacecraft’s navigation reference point parameters. This afternoon, as part of the onboard sequence of autonomous activities leading to the landing, catalyst bed heaters are being turned on to prepare the eight Mars Lander Engines that are part of MSL’s descent propulsion system. As of 2:25 p.m. PDT (5:25 p.m. EDT), MSL was approximately 261,000 miles (420,039 kilometers) from Mars, closing in at a little more than 8,000 mph (about 3,600 meters per second).
Here’s a terrific JPL-created infographic describing the planned descent onto Martian lands. It refers to Entry, Descent and Landing (EDL) of the craft, which the JPL artists interpret as “seven minutes of terror.” Certainly there are billions of dollars riding on this — and millions of folks watching.
Mars Landing 2012 Entry, Descent and Landing Infographic Credit: NASA JPL