‘Touchdown confirmed’ NASA rover, helicopter duo land on Mars

Perseverance rover, Ingenuity helicopter landed at 3:55 p.m. ET

NASA’s Perseverance rover and the first-ever Mars helicopter concluded a 300-million-mile journey Thursday after surviving the landing.

After launching in July from Cape Canaveral, the spacecraft carrying the rover and NASA’s 4-pound helicopter came barreling into the Martian atmosphere at supersonic speeds before completing a series of maneuvers to slow down to 1.5 mph, landing on its six wheels.

This portion of the Mars 2020 mission, known as the entry, descent and landing, or EDL, is the most dangerous. Get a breakdown of the landing timeline, minute-by-minute here.

Re-watch the final moments of EDL below:

NASA has the best success record with robotic landings on Mars but still, nearly 40% of all missions don’t make it. Tap here to read about the dangers of landing on Mars.

The mission will now set in motion a complicated plan to bring a sample of Mars soil and rocks back to Earth within the next decade.

The NASA livestream of the landing events began at 2:15 p.m. ET and for the first time was also available in Spanish.

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