NASA had put the odds at around 50% of having a successful landing near the North Pole of Mars. Their track record of Mars missions thus far wasn’t even that high (55% of missions had been lost). However, with amazing successes like the two rovers who have simply kept going, that coin-toss of chance seemed okay.
Today, after what was described as an excruciating seven minute time of decent, NASA reported a successful landing. What’s more, they even have the photos to show for it.
Congratulations to the University of Arizona and NASA teams. Everyone is looking forward to some more great science from this mission.