NASA's Perseverance rover, by far the most sophisticated vehicle sent from Earth to Mars, has landed successfully on the red planet.
For the next two years the car-sized vehicle will search for signs of life, launch a helicopter and prepare the way for future human visits.
Mission controllers at the Jet Propulsion Lab in California received a radio signal from Perseverance at about 9pm GMT, indicating it had touched down 11 minutes earlier on Jezero crater, close to the Martian equator, after a 470m km flight from Earth.
Because of Covid-19 restrictions, celebrations in the JPL control room were slightly more sedate than usual on successful Mars landings. The room erupted with cheers, clapping and fist-bumping, though without the traditional hugs, as the scientists and engineers — all masked — celebrated the rover’s arrival in good shape.