After nearly 300 million miles (470 million km), NASA’s Perseverance rover completes its journey to Mars on Feb. 18, 2021. But, to reach the surface of the Red Planet, it has to survive the harrowing final phase known as Entry, Descent, and Landing. Solve space by unscrambling an illustration of its landing!
Learn More About It
- Perseverance will land in Jezero Crater, a place that holds promise for finding evidence of past microbial life.
- Entry, Descent, and Landing (EDL) is the shortest and most intense phase of the mission. In the seven-minute trip from the top of the atmosphere to the surface of Mars, hundreds of critical events must execute perfectly for a safe touchdown.
- To safely go from 12,500 miles per hour (20,000 kilometers per hour) down to zero, in that short amount of time, while hitting a narrow target on the surface, requires “slamming on the brakes” in a very careful, creative, and challenging way.
- During the landing, it takes more than 11 minutes to get a radio signal back from Mars, so by the time the mission team hears that the spacecraft has entered the atmosphere, in reality, the rover is already on the ground.
- Perseverance is designed to complete the entire EDL process by itself – autonomously.
- Perseverance is the most capable rover ever sent to the Red Planet. With seven science instruments, 23 cameras, and two microphones, this rover will gather more information than ever before about Mars!
- Enjoy more facts about Perseverance entry, descent, and landing.
- Experience life on Mars through our Mission Mars exhibit.
- The landing is currently scheduled for 2:55 pm CT on Feb. 18. Watch the event live at Space Center Houston or on NASA TV.
- Watch our January Thought Leader Series, presented by The University of Texas Medical Branch (UTMB), “Exploring the Mars Perseverance Rover.”
Watch Perseverance land live!
Watch the landing live at Space Center Houston Feb. 18. Live coverage beings at 1:15 p.m., and the landing is currently scheduled for 2:55 p.m. CT. Once at the top of the red planet’s atmosphere, watch an action-packed seven minutes of descent – complete with temperatures equivalent to the surface of the Sun. See a supersonic parachute inflation, and the first ever autonomous guided landing on Mars.
Learn about this innovative Mars mission from our space experts and in our Pop Up Science Labs. Find out about Ingenuity, the helicopter accompanying Perseverance. Explore Martian geology and see how different rock and soil samples react to UV light to learn about our search for life on the red plant.