• NASA’s Perseverance rover is about to land on Mars, and you can watch the entire thing live right here.
  • NASA is hosting a lengthy live stream that will include a ton of information about the rover, its helicopter companion, and the goals of the mission.
  • The Perseverance rover has been traveling through space for months

It’s been a long time coming but the day is finally here: NASA’s Perseverance rover is about to land on the Red Planet and begin a years-long search and investigation mission that could reveal some very exciting things about our planetary neighbor. The space agency is always good about hyping up its biggest accomplishments and giving science fans a reason to celebrate, and this time is no different.

As you’d expect, NASA is hosting a live stream right now with commentary and information on the Perseverance rover mission and constant updates on the landing procedure. The much-hyped “7 minutes of terror” where the team will have to wait and see if the rover sticks its landing, will surely be the most exciting moment of the entire show, and that’s expected to happen at around 3:55 p.m. EST.

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The Perseverance mission isn’t just another NASA rover adventure. While it’s true that the rover is somewhat similar in design to other NASA rovers, this new machine by far the largest and most technologically sophisticated rover to ever be sent to the Red Planet. It’s packed with the latest technology and, as an added bonus, it comes complete with a tiny helicopter.

The Mars Ingenuity helicopter is a proof-of-concept project for NASA. The helicopter is strapped to the belly of the large rover but will eventually be deployed and be allowed to fly, making it the first powered aircraft to fly on another planet. NASA wants to use the helicopter’s brief window of operation to test the feasibility of flight-capable drones for future missions. A drone could travel over great distances much faster than a rover, and that means exploring more of the planet at a faster pace.

As cool as the helicopter is, Perseverance is definitely the star of the show. Assuming the landing goes well, the rover will have years of work ahead of it, exploring the landing site in the Jezero crater and seeing what it can find in the dusty orange soil. The rover will surely make some interesting discoveries along the way, but it also has the capability to prepare samples of the Martian dirt for study back on Earth. It will seal the samples in canisters and leave them on the surface. In the future, a separate Mars mission will seek to recover those samples and fire them into space and eventually tote them back to Earth for study in NASA’s laboratories.

There’s a lot to be excited about today if you’re a science fan, so click the YouTube window above and join in on the action!

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Mike Wehner has reported on technology and video games for the past decade, covering breaking news and trends in VR, wearables, smartphones, and future tech. Most recently, Mike served as Tech Editor at The Daily Dot, and has been featured in USA Today, Time.com, and countless other web and print outlets. His love of reporting is second only to his gaming addiction.