ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – New Mexicans can keep tabs on the Mars Rover with help from experts from the Natural History and Science Museum in Albuquerque. The Perseverance Rover launched back in July and is set to touch down on the Red Planet next week.

Museum planetary geologist Dr. Larry Crumpler is a member of the mission team and will be giving a virtual preview presentation on Tuesday. Then he and others from the museum’s space science staff will host a live watch party online, with Q&A during the landing Thursday.

“Similar to the New Mexico Museum of Natural History & Science’s walkthrough time exhibits, Perseverance will rove through sediments deposited by a river delta in the ancient past on Mars searching for signs of organic materials associated with past life,” said Crumpler in a news release. “It will test exciting new technologies such as a Mars helicopter and a method for the production of oxygen necessary for future human missions to Mars. This will be the last great Mars surface mission for several years and promises to be a grand geological field trip.”

Dr. Crumpler will host the Zoom presentation on Tuesday, Feb. 16 at 4 p.m. The museum says to submit questions during the Q&A session, those interested must register for the talk. The presentation will be shown on the museum’s YouTube channel, registration is not needed.

According to the same news release, the watch party for NASA’s coverage of the Perseverance Rover landing starts at 12:30 p.m. on Thursday, Feb. 18 on their Facebook page, and questions can be submitted into the comment section.