"Touch down confirmed Perseverance is safely on the surface of Mars, ready to begin seeking the signs of past life."
Cheers and applause erupted in NASA's control room as its latest robotic rover, Perseverance, landed on Mars on Thursday, U.S. eastern time, reaching its destination after a seven-month long, 300-million-mile journey.
The six-wheeled rover sliced through the Martian atmosphere and survived the challenging descent and landing, often called the "seven minutes of terror."
Soon after touchdown, it sent back one of its first images,..showing its shadow cast on the Martian surface.
The vehicle's first stop is Jezero Crater,a region believed to have once been a massive lake.
There, the rover will explore and collect rock and dirt samples to be brought back to Earth so scientists can look for any signs of life.
"Now, the amazing science starts, you know, and I just I'm so looking forward to the science that's going to come there. Every yard on the surface of Mars is a yard of Mars sample return"
While there have been other missions that have landed on Mars, this particular explorer, equipped with high-tech cameras, is the most advanced rover to be used in the search for life beyond Earth.
And its also the first step toward even more ambitious goals.
"it's also part of our bigger exploration plans, right, which involve really understanding Mars and the evolution of Mars and whether there was life, ancient life, but also preparing for eventual human missions to Mars."
With the landing completed, the team will check the vehicle's instruments then begin the next step of the mission.
NASA's science team expects the rover's mission to last about two years, helping experts improve their understanding of the red planet.
Kim Sung-min, Arirang News