Updated 08/06/2012 10:48 AM
NASA Rover Lands on Mars
It was a big night for the U.S. and its space program as "Curiosity" landed on Mars. YNN's Jon Dougherty has more.
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"Seven minutes of terror.'' That's how NASA's mission control described the tense moments leading up to Curiosity's touchdown on the surface of Mars overnight, but it was cheers and jubilation as NASA's $2.6 billion rover landed on the Red Planet.
The SUV-sized spacecraft touched down on Mars around 1:30 a.m., and for the next two years the rover will drill into rocks and scoop up soil, exploring whether the planet's environment could have supported life in the form of microscopic organisms.
White House officials are calling this a historic day for our country.
White House Science Advisor John Holdren said, "If anybody has been harboring doubts about the status of U.S. leadership in space, well there's a one ton automobile sized piece of American ingenuity that is sitting on the surface of Mars right now, and it should certainly put any such doubts to rest."
Curiosity is already sending back black and white images of Mars.
This is a long-time coming. The spacecraft was launched last November and will spend the next two years on the Red Planet.
This was NASA's seventh landing on Mars, and officials hope to one day see humans living there.