Mars Science Laboratory Lands Today


Since launching on November 26, 2011, the newest Mars rover Curiosity has been speeding towards the red planet. Its days in the harsh vacuum of space are numbered as Curiosity prepares to land in just a few hours.

The landing of Curiosity at Gale crater is scheduled to be received on Earth at Aug 5, 10:31 pm PDT / Aug 6, 1:31 am EDT / Aug 6, 5:31 am UTC. The latest updates on the success or failure of ramming into the Martian atmosphere should be available on NASA TV and this feed from JPL. There’s a huge bunch of feeds on, and of course the Twitter for the wonderfully anthropomorphized Curiosity.

If landing a Volkswagen-sized, nuclear powered robot on the surface of Mars isn’t cool enough, we’ll also see a picture of the descent from Martian orbit via the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter. The Atlantic has a bunch of awesome pictures showing off Curiosity’s preparation for launch. Of course there are videos after the break including one by [Stan Love] explaining why it’s soooooo hard to get to Mars.

NOTE: When data is returned from the landing, Curiosity will have been on the surface of Mars for nearly 7 minutes. While this post was carefully worded to avoid confusion due to the speed of light, I figure this is a good a place as any to post a PDF link for the Relativistic Verb section of the Hackaday style guide.




37 thoughts on “Mars Science Laboratory Lands Today

      1. ^Hackaday is not a personal blog, and if you want the patrons of your website to see updates here, I believe there is an RSS feed that you could probably link to. Also, I don’t understand why you could not link to the articles of interest in your blog without spamming the fact that you did so in these comments. Please voluntarily stop. Thanks.

      1. I’m in the UK, so living in the GMT timezone but as it’s summer I added an hour to make it DST time.

        I get fed up seeing PDT & EDT times quoted almost everywhere whilst GMT/DST is ignored.

      2. @eddie
        You mean ESA?

        In my opinion providing times in UTC is just common courtesy. Especially on the internet, since it is the basic standard for all computers.

        I can easily remember how to convert from UTC to my current time zone, but I’m not going to remember every conversion from EDT, PDT, MST, MDT, ECT,…. to UTC.

    1. Oh and if you haven’t watched it yet, try and track down BBC’s recent Horizon episode, S51E02, an hour long documentary about the whole mission with the BBC getting access to the people involved with the project at NASA.

    2. You can think of UTC being GMT. But right now the UK is working on BST (Since it’s suppose to be summer time) So yeah, you wanna be at your screens for 6:30am at least on Monday 6th August 2012.


    3. I will always wonder why when the prime meridian was established they did not make it the date line as well. People still could have used sun dials to adjust their mechanical time keepers for their local time and remain in tune with the rest of the world. Nothing wrong with the folks at NASA being generous enough to state time both as USA time zone and UTC. That way folks in the USA can simply count in the proper direction from the US time zone to get their local time, with the remainder of the world making their adjustment to the UTC figure.

    4. unless one lives in the time zone that shares the UTC time I’m pretty sure there is no AM/PM :). Where the time is favorable for me I may be able to watch the events live via the web, and if I don’t I not going to worry about it. Not like will will get to see a live video of an Earthling’s boot touch the surface of another planet for the first time.

  1. “Aug 5, 10:31 pm PDT / Aug 6, 1:31 am EDT / Aug 6, 5:31 am UTC.”

    Thank you! It took much longer than it should’ve to find this information elsewhere. Most places just listed a time, but didn’t say what timezone. I finally went to the source and got the correct time with a PDT timezone and had to convert it, but this is much easier.

  2. Life changing research is going on.. lets talk about spam.

    I guess it doesn’t matter, NASA keeps most info on construction of this stuff top-secret, even though you can probably buy it off a russian for some millions..

    1. Well people are not going to mars anytime soon so its robots or nothing. One question if you had the chance would you got to mars? at nime months one way i wouldnt want to go to a desolate place once they build a colony i would but not now.

    2. Keep in mind that not only is this a really different and amazing robot, but it is also the last chance you’re going to have to watch a Mars landing of anything substantial for a very long time. Budgets are dwindling, follow on projects are not forthcoming. This is a little bit like a last hurrah for JPL/NASA.

    1. Indeed. I would like to extend a heartfelt congratulations to everyone who helped work on this project and their wonderful success.

      Maybe it can go dust off Spirit and push it out of it’s dirt? Would make for a nice revisit of where it gets a friend (still brings a tear to my eye).

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