6th Aug 2012 11:08am | By Editor
NASA's latest Mars probe, a rover the size of a family car, Curiosity, has landed on the red planet after a journey lasting nine months.
Curiosity's landing process was described as 'seven minutes of hell' by NASA scientists who watched on as the probe's 'sky crane' landing system deployed the rover into an enormous crater.
The successful landing was greeted with whoops, cheers and tears in NASA's Pasadena control room.
"Today, the wheels of Curiosity have begun to blaze the trail for human footprints on Mars," said Nasa Administrator Charles Bolden.
President of the United States Barack Obama said: "Tonight, on the planet Mars, the United States of America made history.
"The successful landing of Curiosity – the most sophisticated roving laboratory ever to land on another planet – marks an unprecedented feat of technology that will stand as a point of national pride far into the future.
"It proves that even the longest of odds are no match for our unique blend of ingenuity and determination."
The rover's mission on Mars is to find out whether the planet could have ever sustained microbial life. A mission whose outcome could effect theories of the prevalence of alien life.
The rover is equipped with a high power laser to break rocks, a drill and a mobile labratory to anaylse samples.
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