Space Studies invites public to view Mars rover landing

Document Type

News Article

Publication Date


Campus Unit

John D. Odegard School of Aerospace Sciences


WHO: The University of North Dakota Department of Space Studies

WHAT/WHEN: Public event related to the landing of the Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) on Mars Sunday, Aug. 5. UND Space Studies will host several activitiesin conjunction with the landing starting at 7 p.m. The UND MSL landing-related "party" is registered at the National Aeronautics and Space Administration's (NASA's) MSL event site. The Mars rover "Curiosity" is expected to land on Mars at 12:31 a.m. CDT, Monday, Aug. 6.

WHERE: The activities will be in 210 Clifford Hall and outside Clifford on the UND campus. So far this is the only MSL landing-related event in the state of North Dakota.

DETAILS: NASA prepares to land the a Mars rover named "Curiosity"

The rover—which was launched last November—is scheduled to land on the surface of Mars at 12:31 a.m. Monday, August 6, after an 8.5 month, 354 million-mile journey. On Saturday, Aug. 5, viewers can observe Mars in the night sky with a telescope or with the naked eye. At sunset, Mars will sit low in the western sky just above the horizon. Viewers will be able to see the orange planet Mars in between Saturn and the bright star Spica. At this point in its orbit, Mars will be roughly 300 million miles away from Earth and the Curiosity Rover will be only hours away from arriving to this distant orange dot in the night sky. Among other tasks, the rover will seek clues about life on Mars—whether there ever was life on the red planet and whether it could sustain life now.