Keyword Mars Curiosity: official landing time, pressers, & streaming info

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

NASA TV will carry all of the briefings, which can also be viewed online at
Keep an eye on for the latest news

News Conferences

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

The NASA TV Public Channel and will carry a feed including commentary and interviews.

The NASA TV Media Channel and will carry an uninterrupted, clean feed.



  1. StevoR says

    Cheers! Can’t wait til it lands and wishing the Curiosity team all the best.

    May curiousity triumph over those minutes of terror.

  2. davidmc says

    Trying to convert to British summer time, it keeps comeing up with the answer stupid o’clock

  3. says

    It’s screwing up everyone. The Disc Sci channel is running a promo, I’ve seen it twice now, and I think they said both times tune in at 9 PM … Monday. If so I’m sure they mean 9 PM Sunday — it lands a few hours later, on Monday technicallyfor eastern and central time zones, so maybe that’s where that promo was developed. But it’s right after midnight, it will feel like Sunday and it will still be Sunday at JPL.

  4. davidmc says

    I think its 6.30 am for me Monday 6th, but if i can get live feeds , of what im sure is going to be a very nervous buildup for everyone, i may just have to stay up all night. I would hate to sleep through it, or miss it by a day!

  5. machintelligence says

    As usual, the mountain time zone is ignored. But never fear, I can interpolate.

  6. davidmc says

    Forgot to say. ThankS for the info, probably wont get much coverage in the UK. Come on team GeeB

  7. Trebuchet says

    Still confused about the date/time but I’ll probably be too nervous to watch anyhow!

  8. stevegerrard says

    Straight off the NASA site, who presumably have it right:

    Landing: 5-6 August 2012:
    10:31 pm Pacific, 5 August
    11:31 pm Mountain, 5 August
    12:31 am Central, 6 August
    01:31 am Eastern, 6 August
    05:31 am Universal, 6 August

    The Explore Mars link given in the post has it wrong, though, which is unfortunate.

  9. says

    We’re all looking forward to data out of Gale Crater while sitting on pins and needles until confirmation of a successful landing. This is great! Looking forward to the news conference in a few minutes.

    Good luck Curiosity and NASA/JPL!


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