NASA Mars Mission - Curiosity Rover to Land on Surface Tonight

(Best Syndication News) - After traveling through space since November 26, 2011, the Mars rover named Curiosity is scheduled to land on the surface of the planet tonight. The landing is planned for the early morning hours of August 6, 2012 at 1:31 a.m. EDT (August 5 at 10:31 p.m. Pacific Time).

NASA will be covering the event in a big way. Special coverage from NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) will be broadcast on the Toshiba Vision screen in New York City’s Times Square. They will begin the coverage at 11:30 p.m. EDT on August 5 and continue it through 4 a.m. EDT the next day. The audio coverage will be broadcast on the Third Rock Radio station.

NASA said that Curiosity has made it to Mars with good functionality. The space agency reported that the flight team is making minor correction commands to correct for the navigation.

The Mars Science Laboratory mission is part of NASA's Mars Exploration Program, and will use Curiosity to explore the surface of the planet for at least 687 Earth days. The new rover is around twice the length and about five times the weight of the Spirit and Opportunity rovers.

NASA will have an online stream of the broadcast available on their website nasa.gov.

By: Julie Marcus
Science and Technology Writer

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