NASA has retasked the Odyssey orbiter to track the Mars Science Lab carrying the Curiosity, the next generation rover is charging its lithium ion batteries to final 100% capacity courtesy of the solar array on the MSL as we speak. There’s been some confusion on the exact date and time of the seven minutes of
terror hope leading to Curiosity’s landing, the current 14 minute light-speed lag between earth and Mars doesn’t exactly help. Official landing times, live stream feeds, and press conference schedule below:
Red Orbit– In preparation for the upcoming Curiosity rover landing on the Red Planet, the Mars orbiter Odyssey has successfully repositioned itself into an orbital location that will allow for prompt confirmation to Earth of a successful landing.
Curiosity, which is being carried to the Red Planet aboard the Mars Science Laboratory (MSL), can send limited data directly to Earth as it enters the atmosphere on Mars. Before the landing, Earth will set below the Martian horizon, ending a direct line of communication. Odyssey will help get the information to Earth faster.
All times earth relative, meaning as we see them happen here on earth.
Using that convention, Curiosity is scheduled to touch down on Mars at Gale Crater on Monday, August 6, 2012 at 05:31 Universal Time. Here in the United States that’s 10:31 PM Pacific Time on Sunday, August 5, or 12:31 AM Central Time and 1:31 AM Eastern Time on Monday morning August 6. Coverage will begin a few hours before, including a special on the Discovery Channel which is currently promoting a partially screwed up date.
Mars Science Lab home page:
Today, Curiosity’s two lithium ion rechargeable batteries are being recharged to 100 percent of capacity in preparation for entry, descent and landing. The batteries, which have been maintained at a 70-percent state of charge during the cruise to Mars, are being recharged using power from Mars Science Laboratory’s cruise-stage solar array.
Via the Explore Mars webpage
On Aug. 2, 2012, at JPL at 10 a.m. PDT NASA briefing about the mission in general, and at 11 a.m. PDT briefing about the flight and planned landing
On Aug.4 at 9;30 a.m. PDT a Pre-landing update at JPL
on Aug. 5 at 9:30 a.m. PDT second pre-landing update at JPL
on Aug. 6 within about an hour of the anticipated landing time (10:31 p.m. PDT) a post-launch briefing at JPL will begin under most conditions, and within about three hours of the landing time if the spacecraft’s status is unknown.
Around the landing of Curiosity there will be a live Feed
Aug. 5 between 8:30 and 11:00 p.m. PDT (11:30 p.m. to 2:00 a.m. Aug. 6 EDT)
Aug. 6 between 12:30 and 1:30 a.m. PDT (3:30 to 4:30 a.m. EDT)
live feeds of video during key landing activities from mission control rooms at JPL on NASA TV and online both http://www.ustream.tv
The NASA TV Public Channel and http://www.ustream.tv/nasajpl will carry a feed including commentary and interviews.
The NASA TV Media Channel and http://www.ustream.tv/nasajpl2 will carry an uninterrupted, clean feed.