Planetarium viewing party set for Mars landing

August 5, 2012 8:46:01 PM PDT
For NASA engineers and science enthusiasts, all eyes are looking toward Mars Sunday as the rover Curiosity gets ready to make its tricky landing on the red planet.

In Chicago, people are getting ready to watch NASA's coverage of the event at the Adler Planetarium's viewing party.

There will be telescopes set up to match the night sky and scientists on hand to answer questions.

The rover, which left earth more than eight months ago, is scheduled to land at 12:31 a.m. Chicago time.

But first it has to execute a complicated landing sequence after breaking through the Martian atmosphere at 13,000 miles per hour.

The craft will deploy rockets to reverse its thrust and then use cables to gently lower the rover onto the surface.