NASA’s Perseverance rover. Photo Courtesy NASA/JPL-Caltech
As we count down to the landing of NASA’s Perseverance rover on Thursday, Feb. 18, Los Alamos National Laboratory has rounded up a bunch of fun resources to help you get ready, including live events to join, podcasts to listen to and videos to watch.
Meet the scientists behind the Mars mission: The Department of Energy hosts a virtual Q&A with experts from LANL, Oak Ridge and Idaho national laboratories who made the Mars mission a reality. Join the discussion on Feb. 16 at 1 p.m.
Watch the landing: NASA will host a live online broadcast as Perseverance makes its final descent to the Red Planet after some 300 million miles of travel from Earth. Tune in and watch history as it unfolds on Feb 18 at 12:15 p.m.
Party with the Bradbury Science Museum: After Perseverance touches down, celebrate with Los Alamos scientists and engineers who helped to develop the two scientific instruments on the rover — SuperCam and SHERLOC — and learn about the plutonium-powered heat source that keeps the rover running. Register here to join the after-party on Feb. 18 at 6 p.m.
Mars Technica: LANL’s podcast series takes you behind the instruments on the rover with some of the very Los Alamos scientists and engineers who made them happen. Launched in July 2020 alongside the rover’s launch into space, the series will pick up again with updates after the landing!
Direct Current: The Department of Energy’s podcast devoted two episodes to the rover (and featured LANL prominently): One all about SuperCam, the rock-zapping instrument aboard Perseverance, and the other about the rover’s unique plutonium source. Check out the podcast.
Meet the Perseverance rover: In this video, see what’s makes Perseverance a one-of-a-kind robot and why SuperCam, the sophisticated instrument onboard is called a “Swiss army knife.”
Hear from an actual space scientist: This lively, fun and engaging talk is with Los Alamos planetary scientist Nina Lanza, who is part of the science team on the Perseverance rover. She discusses a variety of topics about the Mars mission including how SuperCam’s innovative capabilities will identify geological materials and prepare rock and soil samples in tubes that will be brought back to Earth on a future mission.
What does Mars sound like? Stay tuned for upcoming videos — as we get closer to the rover’s final descent on Mars, we’ll be releasing videos that will give you a sense of what the Red Planet sounds like, and much more.
BOOKS AND ARTICLES
Here’s a list of books about firsthand explorations of Mars — as suggested by actual Mars explorers!
Learn about the microphone on the rover and what it might reveal about the Martian sounds it will capture.
Get the scoop about the technology developed in New Mexico in partnership with LANL’s laser, sensing and detection expertise to support the Mars mission.
Why is Mars called the “Red Planet”? Kids can discover the answer in this quick read on 10 facts about Mars.
GAMES TO PLAY
Snap a photo of yourself on Mars: You can’t go to Mars yet, but you can step into NASA’s photo booth and bring the Red Planet closer to you. Put yourself next to the rover or even on Mars and share your picture using #CountdownToMars.
Drive the rover: You’ll be in the driver’s seat on Mars as you gather information about Martian rocks, send commands from your rover to analyze them and earn points in NASA’s Explore Mars game.