Mars Landing Party Tonight – Wanna join?

Postion of NASA’s Mars spacecratft on Thursday morning (CET)

Today, Thursday, 18th February 2021, another spacecraft with a rover arrives at Mars and will attempt a spectacular landing with parachutes, retro-rockets, and a sky-crane. The press folks at NASA like to call it the 7 minutes of terror. As a space-geek I am very much looking forward to the event. Have a look here for the current position and flight data of the spacecraft as it approaches Mars. This real-time simulation of objects in the solar system allows you to look around in all directions from the spacecraft to see what you would see if you were actually there.

I will certainly watch the live commentary of the descent and landing on NASA’s TV channel and will run the 3D Mars landing simulation in real-time while it happens. Well, actually with a delay 11 minutes. And then I thought: Wouldn’t it be nice to talk and chat about this with other space buffs reading this blog before, during, and after the event? Yes, I know, there’s Twitter and other places to go to, but it’s too slow, the crowd is too big for voices to be heard, and too impersonal. So I decided to open up a Jitsi session OVER HERE for anyone who wants to join and chat about the landing. I will be there from around 8 pm CET (Central European Time) this evening! Wanna join?

4 thoughts on “Mars Landing Party Tonight – Wanna join?”

  1. It was a pleasure! Oh, and most importantly, it didn’t crash (neither the rover nor the Jitsi session).

  2. Well, nice to “meet” you, however briefly. Great to see the rover landing OK, too.

    Bit of a disappointment with the Jitsi session, though. My laptop/Firefox combination is never very good at video for reasons I don’t understand. It’ll do YouTube 480p fine but 720p starts to stutter a bit after a few minutes whereas watching YouTube with mpv (through its youtube-dl plugin) at 720p works fine so it’s not a hardware (couple of years old Toshiba/Intel laptop) or operating system (Ubuntu 20.04) problem.

    Jitsi combined with switching on and off two YouTube livestreams did for it: 100% CPU on both cores and everything too laggy to even close things cleanly so in the end I just killed Firefox, and started again just watching the NASA clean feed.

    Hope you all had a more communicative time,


    1. Oh yes, video conferences are the new benchmark for older notebooks. That’s why I had three (older) notebooks running here so I could run the EDL simulation, watch 2 Youtube streams and have a Jitsi session open all at the same time. Indeed, it was nice meeting you in (virtual) person!

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