The Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) mission is on a precise course for an early August landing beside a Martian mountain to begin two years of unprecedented scientific detective work.
The MSL Curiosity rover will spend 23 months after landing gathering samples of rocks and soil. Curiosity is equipped with equipment to drill through rocks, and instruments to collect samples and distribute to onboard test chambers. Curiosity's goal is to assess whether Mars ever had, or does still have today, an environment capable of supporting microbial life and habitability.
Curiosity is scheduled to land at approximately 1:31 a.m. EDT on August 6. To celebrate this historic occasion, Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex will host a weekend of Mars-themed activities, exhibits and presentations!
Special Mars Exhibits
Learn about "The 7 Minutes of Terror" during which the Mars Curiosity Rover will go from over 13,000 mph to a gentle landing (by sky crane) on the surface of the red planet in the Gale crater. The following Mars-themed exhibits will be available for all KSCVC guests during park hours from August 3 through August 5.
- "Drive the Rovers" in Exploration Space
- MSL tactile images display for visually impaired guests in Exploration Space
- Launch Services Program display in Main Entrance
- 12:30 p.m. First-ever multi-NASA center simulcast, featuring MSL subject matter experts, Debus Conference Center
- 12 p.m. in Exploration Space, Jim Adams, NASA's Deputy Chief Technologist, "How to Land on Mars"
- 5 p.m. in IMAX, Jim Adams, NASA's Deputy Chief Technologist, "How to Land on Mars"
- 3 p.m. in Astronaut Encounter, Jim Adams, NASA's Deputy Chief Technologist, "Post-Landing Briefing"