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NASA Perseverance Rover landing: Date, times and how to watch live stream

The Mars 2020 mission reaches the most dangerous phase as the NASA spacecraft touches down, becoming just the fifth to reach the red planet.

NASA Perseverance Rover landing: Date, times and how to watch live stream
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NASA aims to land its fifth rover on Mars on Thursday as its Perseverance Rover touches down on the planet’s surface. The landing will mark the first significant step of NASA’s ten-year mission to get samples of Martian rock back to Earth for the first time.

The rover will be carrying the first microphones and aircraft to ever reach the red planet, and packs more cameras than any previous mission. Also on board is a life-detecting pair known as SHERLOC and WATSON who will be able to scan for organic materials, minerals and chemicals and take microscopic pictures of the Mars surface.

"Landing on Mars is hard," said the space agency in a statement on the mission. "Only about 40% of the missions ever sent to Mars -- by any space agency -- have been successful."

How and when to watch NASA Perseverance Rover land on Mars

Helpfully, NASA are making the momentous occasion available to watch live for free on a variety of streaming services. The NASA TV channel on YouTube will broadcast events live, while streams will also be available on the agency's Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitch, Daily Motion, Theta.TV, and NASA App.

The coverage begins on Thursday, 18 February at 11:15am (PT). The Perseverance Rover is then expected to touch down in the Jezero Crater on the surface of Mars at around 12:30pm. (PT).

For viewers tuning in across the globe, here’s the broadcast start times around the world:

  • USA: 11:15 am PT / 14:15 pm ET
  • Brazil: 16:15 pm (Rio)
  • UK: 19:15 pm
  • South Africa: 21:15 pm
  • Russia: 22:15 pm (Moscow)
  • United Arab Emirates: 23:15 pm

Friday, 19 February

  • India: 12:45am
  • China: 3:15am
  • Japan: 4:15am
  • Australia: 6:15am AEDT

What else can I watch?

Thursday’s action will be the most perilous phase of the Mars 2020 mission as the Perseverance Rover finally touches down on the surface of the red planet. Entry, Descent, and Landing (often referred to as EDL) sees the spacecraft drop from speeds of nearly 12,500 miles per hour to stationary in just seven minutes.

To make things even trickier, it takes around 11 minutes for the radio signal to get back to earth, so the spacecraft will already have landed on the surface before the mission team knows it has even reached the planet’s atmosphere.

For more information on the history-making mission, check out the NASA website for extra content. There are videos on the search for life on Mars; on the technological breakthroughs that made this mission possible and even a behind-the-scenes look and NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory.