A mammoth seven-month, 470-million-km (292,044-million-miles) journey is about to come to an end — in just a few short hours the Perseverance rover is scheduled to touch down on Mars.
But the hardest part of the journey is still to come. The descent down to the Red Planet, dubbed “seven minutes of terror” by NASA engineers, will see Perseverance slow its descent from a blistering 20,000km/h (12,427m/ph) down to a ‘slow walk’, before gently landing in Jezero Crater.
A NASA illustration showing the Perseverance heat shield separation, which will occur during descent today — Courtesy NASA/JPL-Caltech
NASA Mission Control expects to receive confirmation that it has hit the top of the Martian atmosphere at around 21:48 CET / 15:48 EST / 12:48 PST today. Telemetry collected by Perseverance during the descent will be relayed by an overflying satellite — the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter, and news of touchdown should arrive seven minutes later at around 21:55 CET / 15:55 EST /12:55 PST.
It’s possible the world might see the first images of Jezero Crater within a few minutes of landing.
We take immense pride in Camunda’s supporting role in space exploration and will be watching with bated breath during this critical phase of Perserverances’s historic mission.
NASA engineers will be closely following proceedings at mission control at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California and you can also watch the landing live on a number of NASA’s channels:
NASA: Spanish-language show
NASA JPL Raw: Clean feed of mission control on YouTube
NASA JPL: 360-degree stream on YouTube