NASA’s Perseverance rover landed on Mars after successfully encountering “seven minutes of terror” while touching down on the red planet. The touchdown was confirmed by the operations lead Swati Mohan at 3:55 pm Eastern Time (2055 GMT). Luther Beegle, deputy manager of the science division at NASA said: “Landing on Mars is hard. Landing on any planet is hard. Now that we’ve done it again, we might get to the point where we think it’s routine but it’s not. It’s a very difficult process and now we get to go to work. The science team gets to go to work.” “The engineering team gets to drive the rover across Mars and really see what we can do with it. This is the most complex thing we’ve ever landed, and it’s just going to be a lot of fun over the next few years,” Beegle added. Joe Biden termed the feat as “historic” “Today proved once again that with the power of science and American ingenuity, nothing is beyond the realm of possibility,” he tweeted. Thank you, Mr. President. My team persevered through incredible adversity to get me here, and now I’m ready to get to work. https://t.co/L5siszeb4i — NASA's Perseverance Mars Rover (@NASAPersevere) February 19, 2021 More about the Perseverance Rover The Perseverance rover is the size of an SUV weighs a ton and is armed with a robotic arm and 19 cameras and two microphones. The rover will collect 30 rock and soil samples and eventually send them back to Earth for analysis. Despite the rover’s state-of-the-art technology, bringing samples back to Earth remains crucial because of anticipated ambiguities in the specimens it documents. For example, fossils that arose from ancient microbes may look suspiciously similar to patterns caused by precipitation. The US is also preparing for an eventual human mission to the planet sometime in the 2030s, though planning remains very preliminary.