Engineers work on a model of the Mars rover Curiosity at the Spacecraft Assembly Facility at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif., Thursday, Aug. 2, 2012. . Photo: Damian Dovarganes / AP
BOWLING GREEN, Ky.-- A
Mars festival will be held in Bowling Green as NASA's Curiosity rover attempts
to land Sunday.
University is inviting the public to the school's Hardin Planetarium on Sunday
to watch the live NASA-TV satellite feed of the rover's scheduled landing on
Mars after an eight and a half month voyage through space. The feed will begin just before midnight, but
doors open at 8 p.m. CDT for Mars-themed activities, speakers and exhibits.
The future of Mars
exploration depends on the outcome of Curiosity's mission. Mars has a history
of destroying man-made spacecraft with more than half the attempts to land on
Mars have ended in disaster. This landing attempt is being called "seven
minutes of terror," but scientists are confident it will be successful.
"I'm very confident.
I have no fears at all about the aero-shell, the materials that are protecting
it, so that it will take that first high heat pulse and slow it down," said
Robin Beck / NASA Thermal Protection Engineer
The rover's mission is to
look for past or current life on Mars. Scientists believe there was water on Mars
when life was starting on Earth.
(CBS and the Associated
Press contributed to this report.)