Curiosity Landing To Be Broadcast Live In Times Square
August 1, 2012

Curiosity Mars Rover Landing To Be Broadcast Live In Times Square

[ Watch the Video "Seven Minutes of Terror" ]

Lee Rannals for - Your Universe Online

New Yorkers and those visiting Times Square will get a front row seat to the Mars landing of the Curiosity rover, as the Toshiba Vision screen broadcasts live mission coverage.

The new Mars rover will be arriving on the Martian surface at 1:31 a.m. eastern time on August 6.

The Toshiba Vision in Times Square will become the largest East Coast location for the public to see the "seven minutes of terror" live.

"In the city that never sleeps, the historic Times Square will be the place for New Yorkers to participate in this historic landing," John Grunsfeld, associate administrator for NASA's Science Mission Directorate, said in a prepared statement. "When you think of all the big news events in history, you think of Times Square, and I can think of no better venue to celebrate this news-making event on Mars."

The NASA TV broadcast will start at 11:30 p.m. eastern time on August 5, and continue through 4:00 a.m. eastern time the next day.  Programming will originate from Mission Control at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in Pasadena, California.

NASA has said that landing the rover on the Red Planet is not a guaranteed task, but instead is going to be a nail biting experience.

The Mars Science Laboratory carrying Curiosity must slow down from about 13,000 mph to just 1.7 mph in about seven minutes to ensure a safe landing.

NASA said that for the landing to succeed, hundreds of events will need to go right, many of which will require split-second timing.

The Toshiba Vision dual LED screens will allow New Yorkers to see the action live from Mission Control, including the moment when Curiosity sends off its first signal from Mars.

"We're pleased the Toshiba Vision screens will offer a unique view of this great scientific achievement, the landing of the rover Curiosity on Mars," Eddie Temistokle, senior manager of corporate communications and corporate social responsibility for Toshiba America Inc, said.

Times Square visitors will be able to hear the audio portion of NASA's coverage by tuning into the online radio station Third Rock Radio.

NASA said this is the first time this radio station has provided live coverage of one of the space agency's events. Third Rock Radio can be streamed from the NASA homepage, and on smartphones and tablets through the TuneIn mobile app.

Times Square isn't the only place viewers can have the opportunity to watch the landing. NASA centers around the country will be open for landing events, and many science centers also are opening for events focused on the landing.

You can also tune in to the redOrbit Blog this Sunday night to get your space fix and find out how the most complicated spacecraft landing in NASA´s history pans out.