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Emily LakdawallaJuly 30, 2012

Press briefing schedule for Curiosity (assuming a nominal landing)

It was with great relief that I received a message from JPL regarding the press briefing schedule for Curiosity. This assumes a nominal landing -- but any off-nominal situation would be a modification to this schedule. I finally have something to base my childcare schedule on. I am one, or maybe two, iotas less stressed about the landing now. Here's the schedule.

The JPL Newsroom will open at 9 a.m. on Aug. 1. Newsroom operating hours, subject to change, are (all times PDT):

News briefing and televised event schedule:

Date/time (PDT) Date/time (UTC) Event
Aug 2 10:00 Aug 2 17:00 Mission Science Overview News Briefing
Aug 2 11:00 Aug 2 18:00 Mission Engineering Overview News Briefing
Aug 4 09:30 Aug 4 16:30 Prelanding Update
EDL Overview News Briefing
Aug 5 09:30 Aug 5 16:30 Final Prelanding Update News Briefing
Aug 5 15:00 Aug 5 22:00 NASA Science News Briefing
Aug 5 20:30~23:00 Aug 6 03:30~06:00 Landing Commentary No. 1
Aug 5 No earlier than 23:15 Aug 6 NET 06:15 Post-landing News Briefing
Aug 6 00:30 Aug 6 07:30 Landing Commentary No. 2
Aug 6 09:00 Aug 6 16:00 Landing Recap News Briefing
Aug 6 16:00 Aug 6 23:00 Possible New Images News Briefing
Aug 7 10:00 Aug 7 17:00 News Briefing
Aug 8 10:00 Aug 8 17:00 News Briefing
Aug 9 10:00 Aug 9 17:00 News Briefing
Aug 10 10:00 Aug 10 17:00 News Briefing

Note that they settle down to a 10:00 a.m. Pacific time press briefing daily as soon as they can. Once upon a time, this would have irked me, as I know that the Mars calendar shifts with respect to the Earth calendar such that this would make sense one day but less sense a week or two later. Now, though, when the Earth calendar rules my life no matter what's happening on Mars, it's a relief. I must be getting old!

In case you're curious what's going on with time on Mars after Curiosity lands, here's a couple of data points (Thanks, Sarah!):

Landing will happen at 22:31 Pasadena / 05:31 UTC / 15:02 LST (Local Solar Time at Gale Crater) (give or take a couple minutes)

No matter what time landing occurs, sol 1 at Gale will begin at 2012-219T07:29:34 PDT or 14:29:34 UTC

Since it's late, and I'm tired, I will leave to a reader the task of taking that datum and calculating approximately when the rover will receive commands (uplink) and return data (downlink) each day....

Read more: events and announcements, Curiosity (Mars Science Laboratory)

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Emily Lakdawalla

Senior Editor and Planetary Evangelist for The Planetary Society
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