NASA’s spacecraft will be the third to orbit Mars in February, and the only one to land on the planet.
NASA is preparing to land on Mars – and the agency has invited the world to watch the grand event, the Independent reports.
The landing requires an intense and dangerous maneuver that will cause the Perseverance rover to accelerate through the atmosphere and fall to the surface.
In this process, the rover will fall through the atmosphere, accelerating to speeds of over 12,000 miles per hour. As it approaches, it will use the parachute and its own power to slow down to about 2 miles per hour before the descent stage drops it on three cables so that the rover can land on its six legs.
If all goes well, the rover will be able to begin its mission: to explore the surface of Mars using equipment, including a helicopter that will make its first-ever controlled flight on another planet.
But first, NASA engineers must make sure the rover safely enters the atmosphere, descends, and then lands on the planet and remains intact so it can do any of these jobs.
The space agency and many media outlets from around the world will be covering live as the spacecraft descends to the surface.
The agency has invited the world to follow the spacecraft’s landing through a video broadcast that will be shown live on its television channel, website and other streaming platforms such as YouTube and Facebook.