(CMR) NASA successfully landed its fifth robotic rover on Mars on Thursday after Perseverance touched down safely over six months after it left earth.
Within minutes of landing, the rover, nicknamed “Percy,” sent its first image back to Earth.
The rover launched in July 2020 is the most technologically advanced robot that NASA has ever sent to Mars.
NASA aims to spend approximately two years exploring the planet using the rover.
Perseverance is also carrying a small helicopter named Ingenuity, a technology demonstrator that NASA plans to use to attempt the first flight on another planet.
NASA spent about $2.4 billion to build and launch the Perseverance mission, with another $300 million in costs expected for landing and operating the rover on the Mars surface, CNBC reported.
Perseverance, which is about a small car's size, weighing about one ton in total, traveled 293 million miles to reach Mars.
It has a robotic arm that reaches about seven feet long, the end of which has a robotic “hand” with a camera, chemical analyzer, and a rock drill. Perseverance is nuclear powered, with a plutonium generator to generate electricity for its pair of lithium-ion batteries.