NASA's "Curiosity" lands on Mars

Published 08/05 2012 07:41PM

Updated 08/06 2012 10:47AM

CHAMPAIGN -- NASA's "Curiosity" rover is landing on Mars Saturyday, and there's one place where you can have a front row seat to witness it. A free viewing will be at the Staerkel Planetarium at Parkland College.

It will project the landing onto the big screen in the dome. The rover, about the size of a pick-up truck, launched around 9 months ago in November.

"Life as we know it, we have to have water. It's kind of the big picture of searching for life in the universe. Mars is one of the hot spots to maybe find some of that life," David Leake, director of the planetarium.

Mars comes close to the Earth every 26 months he says, and it's got only one moment to make a safe landing.

It's scheduled to land at 12:30 am. Doors open at 10 pm.

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