In just a few short hours, NASA will attempt to land its to date. Following a , the agency's Perseverance will descend to the Red Planet later today. We’ll know whether the landing was a success around 3:55 PM ET. NASA will livestream the mission, with the proceedings starting at 2:15. You watch the entire thing below.
NASA, probably more so than any other space agency, knows just it is to get a craft to the surface of Mars. Since the 1960s, the world has sent to the planet have ended in failure, including several from NASA. If Perseverance can safely make its way to the Martian surface, it will be the ninth NASA craft to do so. It will also join the UAE’s and China’s orbiter in having recently made it to Mars.
Once on the surface, Perseverance will explore the Jezero Crater, a dusty and unexplored part of Mars that was once a lake. NASA plans to work with the European Space Agency to eventually retrieve the rock samples Perseverance collects as part of a complicated mission involving multiple craft. First, however, the agency has to put the rover safely on the Martian surface.