NASA sent $2.5 billion US Dollars 567 million kilometers (352 million miles) to Mars. The most advanced robotic exploration vehicle, dubbed Curiosity. Millions of people watched all over the world at NASA.gov for live streaming of the event. Get together, parties, dance parties to celebrate Curiosity's land peppered the globe. All were on edge, cheering every successful step in its complicated landing procedure. Flight control at NASA walked everyone through the "7 minutes of terror" as it set down on the red planet. (Watching with a communication delay of 16-20 minutes.) I felt like clapping at every successful stage.
It landed at 10:14:39 PDT on August 6th, 2012.
"Let's see where curiosity will take us." - NASA flight control
I could not help but feel extreme pride in the successful landing. Even more so as the image stream started to flow. Two images sent before the data stream ended.
Curiosity's first images from Mars (via NASA live stream)
A few curious facts about the Curiosity rover:
(Left) The landing proceedure (Right) The size of the rover, it's surprising (via NASA)
The rover is quite social. Follow Curiosity's twitter feed: https://twitter.com/MarsCuriosity
Direct from the rover. The images are dusty and dirty due to the thrust of the landing vehicle: