NASA rover lands on Mars after plummet

4:07 AM, Aug 6, 2012   |    comments
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PASADENA, Calif. -- The most high-tech Mars rover ever built has landed on the red planet.

PHOTO GALLERY: NASA Mars Rover Curiosity Landing

NASA says it received a signal from the Curiosity rover Sunday night after a plunge through the Martian atmosphere described as "seven minutes of terror."

The rover is the size of a small car, so engineers had to come up with a new way to set it down.

For the first time, cables were used to lower the rover inside of a giant crater.

NASA Image Gallery: Curiosity on Mars surface

At $2.5 billion, it's the most ambitious and priciest Mars mission yet. For the next two years, the rover will drill into rocks and scoop up soil. It will be exploring whether the planet's environment could have supported life in the form of microscopic organisms.

By ALICIA CHANG, AP Science Writer

The Associated Press

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