17:01 06 August 2012
At a speed of 13,200 mph, 17 times the speed of sound, Curiosity has landed on Mars. The aptly named car-sized rover is Nasa's brainchild and will hopefully establish if life has ever existed on the Red Planet.
The news comes as Nasa have even speculated that we could only be a decade away from having a man or woman walk on the planet.
The successful $2.5 billion mission saw Curiosity touch down inside an ancient crater.
The vehicle is a one-ton, six-wheeled, nuclear-powered machine which arrived after a 352 million mile journey spread across eight months.
The scientists had an emotional moment following the suspenseful touchdown. They hugged, cheered and even shared out Mars bars to each other.
Almost immediately, the vehicle sent back pictures showing one of it wheels, and its own shadow on the Martian surface.
Curiosity isn't, however, Nasa's first landing on our neighbouring planet. There have been six priors, but this marks their most ambitious and costly trip.
Mars has proven to be a hard planet to crack. Two thirds of all missions there end in failure such as the Christmas Day loss of Britain's ill-fated Beagle 2 lander.
Curiosity was slowed down from its incredibly fast entry via a giant supersonic parachute before it landed upright on all six wheels.
Nasa Administrator Charles Bolden said: "It's incredible, it doesn't get any better than this. I was a basket case. I was on pins and needles. It's a huge day for the nation and the American people. It belongs to all of us."
Clara Ma, the schoolgirl who named and signed Curiosity before its mission, beamed: "That was so special to me. I was crying, laughing. I'm so happy and just getting to see the reactions of the mission team members hugging each other, crying, laughing. I got really emotional."
Disclaimer: Supanet is not responsible for, and disclaims any and all liability for the content of comments written by contributors to this website
x Share us on Facebook