The Mars rover Curiosity is on course to touch down at about 10:30 p.m. PDT tonight.
If you want to view the touchdown on a large screen, the Chabot Space and Science Center in Oakland has a special event scheduled in its planetarium from 7 to 11 p.m. There will also be hands-on activities and, weather permitting, night sky viewing from the observation deck.
Tickets for the events are $15.95 for adults and $11.95 for ages 3-12, with a $3 discount off adult prices for seniors (ages 65 and up) and students (ages 13-18 or with college ID). Bank of America card holders (debit or credit card) get free admission tonight; bring a photo ID.
Tickets aren't available online for tonight's event because of an earlier power outage but may be purchased at the door.
For more information, visit the center's website or call (510) 336-7373.
The landing of the Curiosity, also know as the Mars Science Laboratory, is detailed in NASA's aptly named video called 7 Minutes of Terror, attached above.
The complex spacecraft encapsulating the rover must deal with the 16,000 degrees of heat generated by entering the planet's atmosphere at 13,000 mph. A parachute will slow it down. It will all happen in seven minutes, on autopilot.
Because of the time delay caused by Mars' current distance of more than 150 million miles, scientists and viewers around the world won't know if the landing has been a success or failure for another seven minutes.
The real work doesn't begin until Curiosity is on the ground. The rover, which is the size of a SUV, will search for signs of microscopic life in the Martian soil.