Mars rover makes a successful landing on Mars after seven-month journey

WATCH: Perseverance Lands on Mars Today in '7 Minutes of Terror'

NASA's Perseverance rover just landed on the Martian surface, and it has already sent home its first two images.

Humanity's love affair with Mars is an enduring one, full of wonder about the possibility of life on this mysterious neighboring planet. This historic mission can search for evidence that could give us the answer. But if that early life was ever present, it could still be there today-in the form of fossilized remains and organic material in the ancient silt of the desiccated lake. It's the first chopper attempting to fly on another planet. The first recordings of sound on the red planet.

Communications from Ingenuity to the rover are made through a Zigbee radio link over 900 MHz SiFlex chipsets mounted in the rover and helicopter. Jezero Crater is a 28 mile-wide impact crater that used to be a lake; scientists believe it's an ideal place to look for evidence of ancient microbial life on Mars. It will take 10 years for the samples to be returned to Earth and NASA.

NASA's Perseverance rover has successfully landed on Mars after a seven-month journey spanning almost half a billion kilometres.

Perseverance's descent has been described by NASA as "seven minutes of terror", in which flight controllers can only watch helplessly.

The second image transmitted to Earth after the landing, with the rover's wheel visible at right.

The spacecraft's heat shield endured peak heating of 2,370 degrees Fahrenheit.

Perseverance, the most advanced astrobiology lab ever flown to another world, was headed for a self-guided touchdown inside a vast, rocky basin called Jezero Crater at the edge of a remnant river delta carved into the red planet billions of years ago.

What makes Jezero Crater's terrain - deeply etched by long-vanished flows of liquid water - so tantalizing to scientists also makes it especially treacherous as a landing site.

Using a jetpack system it slowly makes its way to the surface descending at just under 2 miles per hour.

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If you can't get enough of the landing day excitement after watching NASA's live stream on their official YouTube channel, you might want to check out what is going on at the H.R. MacMillan Space Centre. Two minutes later, when the spacecraft was 2 km above the ground, the parachute separated and Perseverance went into a brief free-fall-and here, some imaginative engineering took over. Nylon cords lowered the rover 25 feet below the descent stage.

The first shot of the Martian surface captured by the rover's rear hazcam.

Two subsequent Mars missions are planned to retrieve the samples and return them to NASA in the next decade.

Retuning samples is the logical - and necessary - next step in Mars exploration. The European Space Agency also has tried and failed.

Teams on Earth will go through a month of inspections, software downloads and preparations for roving.

Assuming all is well, including a successful recharge of Perseverance's batteries, the Mars 2020 team will then determine the rover's exact location and make sure all components and systems are working properly, including its robotic arm.

The technology could eventually be used during crewed flights to Mars. The instant the on-board computer sensed that the rover was on the surface and supporting itself, the cables were severed and the descent stage fired its engines and flew off to crash into the surface a safe distance away.

Percy, as it is nicknamed, was created to drill down with its 2-metre arm and collect rock samples that might hold signs of bygone microscopic life. What scientists could discover about Mars, though, is worth the journey.

Using TRN, the craft picked the precise altitude to detach the parachute, sending Perseverance hurtling towards Mars at around 200 miles per hour in a rocket-powered metal frame.

Perseverance is the size of a large vehicle.

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