"Touchdown confirmed." At approximately 1:32 a.m. Eastern, a member of the NASA team announced to rows of anxious blue-shirted NASA crew members and thousands of Americans watching on a live stream that the Mars rover Curiosity successfully touched down after a 154 million-mile journey that began on November 26, 2011. In a few days, Curiosity will probably join our Martian friends for some Texas Hold 'Em and beers, but for now the wheeled machine is resting safely on the Red Planet.
NASA crews in Pasadena and Cape Canaveral erupted in cheers at the announcement, began hugging, and exchanged high fives.
The rover has already transmitted images back to Planet Earth. One image below, taken from the live stream, shows a rear wheel of Curiosity on Mars's surface. Particles of dust kicked up during the parachute landing cover part of the window. Curiosity will now spend two years traversing a twelve-mile sediment formation in the center of the vast Gale Crater.
A large crowd of New Yorkers showed up to share the exciting moment at One Times Square where the Toshiba Vision aired the landing.