Countdown to the Mars landing tonight!

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Tonight at 10:31:30 pm PDT, the rover Curiosity will land on Mars. And if you haven’t yet watched the astonishing way it’ll get down to the surface, just watch this:

Why go to Mars? In 2008, Charles Elachi, director of NASA’s Jet Propulsion Lab, asked that question at the Serious Play conference — and answered with great footage of early Mars rovers and “some of the fun things we’re doing on Mars“:

[ted id=399]

Closer to TED HQ, NASA will be showing footage from the landing on the big screen over New York’s Times Square. Some of us will be watching down there (pic below). Tweet to @TEDNews if you’re watching too.

Or follow along online. Head to for a livestream. IEEE Spectrum offers an updated timeline of events.

And of course Curiosity tweets.

A crowd of hundreds in New York’s Times Square watched the rover Curiosity land on Mars.