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NASA rover lands on Mars

1:11 PM, Aug 6, 2012   |    comments
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Video: NASA, JPL officials react to MSL touchdown

  • A view of NASA's Curiosity rover as it parachuted to the surface of Mars. This image was taken from NASA's Martian orbital observatory. (NASA)
    

PASADENA, Calif. -- The most high-tech Mars rover ever built has landed on the red planet.

NASA says it received a signal from the Curiosity rover Sunday night after a plunge through the Martian atmosphere described as "seven minutes of terror."

PHOTOS | NASA's Curiosity rover lands on Mars

The rover is the size of a small car, so engineers had to come up with a new way to set it down. For the first time, cables were used to lower the rover inside of a giant crater.

At $2.5 billion, it's the most ambitious and priciest Mars mission yet. For the next two years, the rover will drill into rocks and scoop up soil. It will be exploring whether the planet's environment could have supported life in the form of microscopic organisms.

(Associated Press)

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