Published: 2012-08-03 00:23:00
Updated: 2012-08-03 00:23:00
Posted August 3, 2012
By Tony Rice
The Mars Science Lab will reach its destination early Sunday morning.
Engineers and scientists who have devoted years of their lives along with audiences at Mars events worldwide will experience "7 minutes of terror" as they await word from the rover after its 7-minute, unassisted trip to the surface of Mars. It seems fitting to frame that time with some of the other numbers, big and small, that bring us to that moment.
Audiences at NASA centers around the country will watch those numbers tick by. Here in the Triangle, two events are planned to celebrate this edge-of-your-seat landing.
The Morehead Planetarium in Chapel Hill is hosting a free Mars event beginning at 1:30 p.m. Talks include the history of Mars exploration and Martian geology, along with activities for younger explorers.
The North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences will host an event starting at midnight (doors open at 11:30 p.m.) In addition to talks on the mission, the rover and its capabilities, the event will conclude with live views of the landing from the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California. It will also be broadcast live via NASA TV.