Where to watch NASA’s Curiosity rover landing online

mars rover landing

Early Monday morning will be a critical time for NASA. After facing budget cuts, NASA’s future arguably hinges on successfully landing a $2.5 billion rover named, “Curiosity” safely on the surface of Mars. Luckily for us, there are a couple of ways you can sit in on the nail-biting landing, beginning tonight.

NASA will begin streaming the landing of the rover live online on NASA TV, which will kick off the event tonight with a pre-show at 8:30PM PS, 10:30PM EST. The streaming of the actual landing will begin at 10:31PM PST, 1:31AM EST. But those of you who are expecting a front-row seat to watching the rover itself land will be sorely disappointed. What you’ll watching instead is mission control buzzing with NASA engineers, scurrying to make last-minute coordination arrangements with the rover before sitting back and watching the rover plunge to the Martian surface during the “seven minutes of terror.”

New York City residents can walk over to Times Square, where NASA will be streaming what you’d be watching online, on the giant Toshiba screens. At the least, you’ll have a crowd of onlookers to celebrate with if this mission proves to be a success. Not in New York? You can seek out a landing party closest to you using this map.

The rover’s descent will make for a tense seven minutes. Every piece of equipment on the rover must work flawlessly as it hurtles toward the surface at over 13,000 miles per hour in an atmosphere with minimal resistance. The heat shield will heat up to 1,600 degrees Celsius (2,912 Fahrenheit), and must be discharged from the vehicle just at the right time to avoid burning up the craft upon exiting the upper atmospheres. But expelling the heat shield serves a dual purpose. Ditching the heat shield exposes Curiosity’s radar, which will make precise measurements to determine when to dump its supersonic parachute. It will slow the rover’s descent to 200 miles per hour, and have its rockets take over until it hovers over the surface and lowers the rover using nylon tethers.

Curiosity is unlike its predecessors, Spirit and Opportunity. The pair of Exploration rovers’ landings was cushioned by giant airbags. Curiosity is too heavy for the same landing method.

If you’re watching the live stream, how will you know that Curiosity has come out alive from the seven minutes of terror? Mission control will receive a text message from Curiosity if the landing goes without a hitch, and you’ll know when you watch mission control celebrating.

Emerging Tech

Awesome Tech You Can’t Buy Yet: Robo sidekicks, AC for your bed, and more

Check out our roundup of the best new crowdfunding projects and product announcements that hit the Web this week. You can't buy this stuff yet, but it sure is fun to gawk!
Emerging Tech

NASA’s Parker Solar Probe sets out to try and ‘touch’ the sun

A NASA probe launched on a journey to take measurement of the atmosphere of the Sun, hopefully uncovering crucial details about the origins of the solar winds generated there.
Movies & TV

'Prime'-time TV: Here are the best shows on Amazon Prime right now

Amazon Prime brings more perks than just free two-day shipping. Subscribers get access to a huge library of TV shows to stream at no extra cost. Here are our favorite TV shows currently available on Amazon Prime.
Movies & TV

The best movies on Netflix in August 2018, from ‘Blue Valentine’ to ‘Jurassic Park’

Save yourself from hours wasted scrolling through Netflix's massive library by checking out our picks for the streamer's best movies available right now, whether you're into explosive action, subdued humor, or anything in between.
Emerging Tech

A new way to ‘freeze’ water could help transform organ preservation

Scientists from Massachusetts General Hospital have developed a way of keeping water as a liquid at temperatures far below freezing. Here's why that could help transform organ preservation.
Emerging Tech

Meet the Mantis Q: A drone you can control by yelling, waving, or even smiling

"Mantis, take a picture." Yuneec's new consumer drone, the Yuneec Mantis Q, responds to voice commands along with gestures and smiles. The 4K drone also integrates several different flight modes and safety features inside a one-pound…
Emerging Tech

This robot arm could soon recharge your electric car, no driver effort required

Researchers in Austria have developed a smart robotic charger that can automatically plug itself into any electric vehicle, no driver effort required whatsoever. What could be simpler?
Emerging Tech

Police body cams are scarily easy to hack into and manipulate, researcher finds

Nuix cybersecurity expert Josh Mitchell has demonstrated how it is possible to hack into and potentially manipulate footage from police body cams. The really scary part? It's shockingly easy.
Emerging Tech

Scientists try to trick brains of amputees with phantom limb syndrome

New research might help some amputees better mesh what they see with what they feel. In a recently published paper, researchers show how an amputee’s brain can be tricked into believing a prosthetic hand belongs to their own body.
Emerging Tech

Los Angeles subway to become first in the U.S. to use body scanners

Los Angeles is set to become the first city in the U.S. to use body scanners on its subway. The machines are portable and quick to set up, and can check around 2,000 people an hour without causing lines or delays for passengers.
Emerging Tech

Sick of walking everywhere? Here are the best electric skateboards you can buy

Thanks for Kickstarter and Indiegogo, electric skateboards are carving a bigger niche than you might think. Whether you're into speed, mileage, or something a bit more stylish, here are the best electric skateboards on the market.

How to connect a Nintendo Switch controller to your PC

Nintendo's Switch controllers, including the Joy-Cons and the aptly titled Pro Controller, use Bluetooth, which makes them compatible with your PC. Here's how to start using them for PC gaming.
Emerging Tech

Regular Wi-Fi can accurately detect bombs, chemicals, and weapons in bags

Surveillance cameras and bag searches have become commonplace when it comes to security in public venues. But researchers may have found a different way to detect suspicious items: regular Wi-Fi.
Emerging Tech

Buying on a budget? Here’s all the best tech you can snag for $25 or less

We live in a world where you can get a cheeseburger for $1, a functioning computer for $5, and thousands of HD movies for $10 -- so it stands to reason that you should be able to pick up some pretty sweet gear for $25.