Your Thursday Virtual Science Class, Courtesy Of NASA, Mars & The First Martian Helicopter: Livestream Today’s Perseverance Rover Landing Right Here, 2:30 P.m. ET
Your Thursday Virtual Science Class, Courtesy of NASA, Mars & the First Martian Helicopter: Livestream Today’s Perseverance Rover Landing Right Here, 2:30 p.m. ET
Amidst the turmoil of online learning, taking care of children, shoveling snow, and enduring freezing temperatures, I was completely unaware of NASA’s mission to Mars today until I came across a headline last night. This unexpected news became a source of excitement for my first-grade child, who is passionate about science.
We now have a clear plan for our virtual science class today, and it involves witnessing a remarkable scientific achievement that is bound to be filled with drama, excitement, and groundbreaking moments.
According to NASA’s preview of the mission, the rover will experience a thrilling descent through the thin Martian atmosphere, reaching speeds over 12,000 mph. Utilizing a parachute and powered descent, the rover will gradually slow down to approximately 2 mph. During what is called the sky crane maneuver, the descent stage will delicately lower the rover onto six wheels using three cables at the Jezero Crater. Additionally, the Perseverance rover carries the Ingenuity Mars Helicopter, a technology experiment that aims to achieve the first controlled flight on another planet.
One of the notable aspects of this mission is NASA’s first-ever Spanish-language show dedicated to a planetary landing. Titled "Juntos perseveramos," the show will air on Thursday, February 18 at 2:30 p.m. It will provide an overview of the Mars mission while highlighting the crucial role played by Hispanic NASA professionals in its success. The show will be available for streaming on NASA en Español’s YouTube channel.
The livestream of the landing will commence at 2:15 p.m. ET, with the actual landing expected to occur at 3:55 p.m. My 6-year-old and I will be eagerly watching from Brooklyn, and we warmly invite you to join us in this momentous event.
To give you a glimpse of what we can expect today, NASA has shared several artist renderings:
– The Empire State Building in New York City has begun illuminating its tower in red since Tuesday, February 16, at sunset in anticipation of NASA’s Perseverance rover landing on February 18, 2021.
– An illustration portrays the crucial events that will unfold in the final minutes of the rover’s seven-month journey to Mars. The success of hundreds of critical tasks, executed flawlessly and on schedule, is vital for the rover to land safely on February 18, 2021.
– The possible path of the Perseverance rover is depicted, showcasing its anticipated route.
– Another illustration reveals the moment when NASA’s Perseverance rover separates from the spacecraft’s cruise stage just minutes before entering the Martian atmosphere.
– Lastly, we have an illustration depicting the landing of the Perseverance rover on Mars.
During Perseverance’s entry, descent, and landing, Madrid’s radio antennas will play a central role in receiving telemetry from the Mars Relay Network.
Lastly, we have a visual representation of previous successful Mars missions and the landing sites of both past missions and Perseverance.
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