James Webb Space Telescope Launching Today

The James Webb Space Telescope is finally launching today, at 7:20 AM Eastern Standard Time or 12:20 UTC. 30 years in the making, NASA has a video feed that starts very soon of the European Space Agency’s Ariane 5 rocket that will carry the new telescope to space where it’ll take a good trip to the other side of the moon, and then spend a month unfolding the delicate internals.

For more on why you should care about the James Webb Space Telescope I highly recommend this video from an astronomer and scientist working on the telescope, Kevin Hainline:

You can also find out more about the James Webb Space Telescope at NASA’s site.

NASA/JPL’s Perseverance Rover Safely Landed on Mars Today

NASA and the Jet Propulsion Laboratory put out a statement after the successful landing:

The largest, most advanced rover NASA has sent to another world touched down on Mars Thursday, after a 203-day journey traversing 293 million miles (472 million kilometers). Confirmation of the successful touchdown was announced in mission control at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Southern California at 3:55 p.m. EST (12:55 p.m. PST).

Packed with groundbreaking technology, the Mars 2020 mission launched July 30, 2020, from Cape Canaveral Space Force Station in Florida. The Perseverance rover mission marks an ambitious first step in the effort to collect Mars samples and return them to Earth.

Perseverance Lands on Mars Today

Ars has a guide to what’s going on with the new exploring metal guy today, the automated navigation system that will guide the rover to a safe landing, and a little bit about the first-of-it’s kind drone that will launch from Perseverance.

You can tune in to watch the status of the mission via NASA TV and elsewhere starting at 2:15PM/1415 EST.