Mars Rover Lander: Watch NASA’s Curiosity Rover Touch Down On The Red Planet Here [VIDEO]
NASA's Curiosity rover is slated to touch down on Mars late Sunday or early Monday, depending on where you live. On the East Coast, you can see the Mars rover land at 1:31 Monday morning. For those on the West Coast, it will be 10:31 p.m. Sunday night. While the rover will touch down before that, there is a 14-minute delay as the signal travels 154 million miles from the red planet.
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The rover took off from the Kennedy Space Center in November and has been on its way to Mars ever since. The $2.5 billion project will spend the next two years on Mars looking for evidence of carbon compounds and signs that the planet was once, or is, habitable.
Approximately 7 miles above the planet's surface, the rover will deploy its parachute and slow its decent from 13,200 miles per hour to 900 MPH and finally down to 180 MPH, according to NASA. Just before it touches down, a high-definition camera will start recording.
"It does eight frames per second, high-definition-quality video from the backshell coming off [all the way] to the ground," project manager Pete Theisinger told CNET. "So it's a lot of data, it'll take a long time to get it back. But it should be a tremendous movie when it does."
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