The NASA Perseverance rover safely landed on Mars after its 292.5 million-mile journey from Earth. The rover landed itself flawlessly, according to the mission's team.
The Perseverance rover landed in an area of Mars known as the Jezero Crater, a 28-mile-wide basin that lies just north of the Martian equator.
The much-anticipated Perseverance mission could answer key questions about Mars' history and evolution, but it's also a crucial stepping stone toward NASA's goal of sending humans to explore the red planet.
In 2007, following the discovery of its ancient lake, the crater was named “Jezero Crater“ after small Bosnian town of Jezero near Jajce. The word “jezero“ means lake in several Slavic languages.
"I’m amazed that everything went pretty much according to plan," Steve Jurczyk, NASA's acting administrator, said Thursday in a post-landing news briefing. "When I heard the touchdown signal come back and saw the first image, I cannot tell you how overcome with emotion I was and how happy I was."
The rover will spend the next few days taking pictures of its surroundings as mission controllers on Earth monitor the health of the spacecraft and its instruments. Engineers will then upload new flight software so that Perseverance can get to work.