February 18, 2021
Today's the day! NASA's Mars 2020 Perseverance rover, with the Ingenuity Mars Helicopter attached to its belly, is on target to touch down gently on the Red Planet around 3:55 p.m. EST!
To celebrate this historic event, NASA is providing the world with a live landing commentary show starting at 2:15 p.m. EST today. We'll be watching and hope you will, too!
Over the past two decades, missions flown by NASA's Mars Exploration Program have shown us that Mars was once very different from the cold, dry planet it is today. Evidence discovered by landed and orbital missions point to wet conditions billions of years ago. These environments lasted long enough to potentially support the development of microbial life. The Mars 2020 Perseverance rover is designed to better understand the geology of Mars and seek signs of ancient life. The mission will collects and store a set of rock and soil samples that could be returned to Earth in the future. It will also test new technology to benefit future robotic and human exploration of Mars.
For more information about how to watch the landing commentary show, visit the mission's watch online page at https://mars.nasa.gov/mars2020/timeline/landing/watch-online/.