NASA’s Perseverance Rover, with a mission to seek signs of ancient life and collect samples of rock and regolith (broken rock and soil) for possible return to Earth, is set to land on the red planet on Thursday afternoon at just before 4 pm ET.
Writes NASA: “NASA’s Perseverance rover, with the Ingenuity Mars Helicopter attached to its belly, is on track to land on the Red Planet tomorrow, Feb. 18, 2021. Since launch, it has traveled over 291 million miles (468 million kilometers), and has about 1,260,000 miles (2,035,000 kilometers) left on its journey to Mars. Mission controllers expect to receive confirmation on Feb. 18 that it has hit the top of the Martian atmosphere at around 3:48 p.m. EST (12:48 p.m. PST) and touched down gently on the surface at around 3:55 p.m. EST (12:55 p.m. PST).
“Watch live commentary of landing starting at 2:15 p.m. EST (11:15 a.m. PST) on landing day on NASA TV (or in the feeds below). For more information about virtual landing livestreams, including details on a special livestream for students at 12:30 p.m. EST (9:30 a.m. PST), visit the mission’s watch online page. “