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Krispy Kreme launches Mars Doughnut Thursday in honor of NASA Perseverance Rover's Martian landing

USA TODAY logo USA TODAY 2/18/2021 Kelly Tyko, USA TODAY
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Krispy Kreme is commemorating the historic landing of NASA's Perseverance Rover on Mars with a special doughnut.

The Mars Doughnut looks like the red planet and will only be available Thursday, while supplies last. It's filled with chocolate creme, dipped in caramel icing with a red swirl and has chocolate cookie crumbs on top.

The Mars 2020 Perseverance launched July 30 on an Atlas V-541 rocket from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida. It will land on Mars Thursday in the planet's Jezero Crater after traveling 293 million miles.

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The rover is carrying the names of nearly 11 million people who participated in NASA’s "Send Your Name to Mars" program.

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Krispy Kreme is offering a free Mars Doughnut to those who sent their names in and bring their NASA-issued Mars 2020 Perseverance boarding pass into shops Thursday, the company announced in a news release


Video: Krispy Kreme offers free 'Mars doughnut' for NASA's red planet rover landing (USA TODAY)

Krispy Kreme offers free 'Mars doughnut' for NASA's red planet rover landing
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The boarding pass must be from the Mars 2020 Mission and issued through NASA, Krispy Kreme says on its website. Those who signed up can retrieve their pass on NASA's website

The chain will also have a Mars dozen with six of the special doughnuts and six Original Glazed doughnuts.

On Thursday, the Perseverance car-size rover and its descent equipment will kick off an autonomous series of operations designed to slow the approach from 12,100 mph to 1.7 mph.

The fiery, seven-minute atmospheric entry and touchdown is handled entirely by a suite of onboard technologies. The "seven minutes of terror" begin with entry into Mars’ ultra-thin atmosphere at 3:48 p.m. EST on Thursday.

Krispy Kreme has the special Mars Doughnut only on Feb. 18. © Krispy Kreme Doughnut Corp. Krispy Kreme has the special Mars Doughnut only on Feb. 18.

There is an 11-minute delay in communications between Earth and Mars so if something goes wrong no human intervention is possible. 

NASA will have live video of Perseverance's approach, entry, descent and landing. The NASA stream is scheduled to begin at 2:15 p.m. EST.

Contributing: Emre Kelly, Florida Today

Follow USA TODAY reporter Kelly Tyko on Twitter: @KellyTyko

Learn more about the 'seven minutes of terror'

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Krispy Kreme launches Mars Doughnut Thursday in honor of NASA Perseverance Rover's Martian landing

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