NASA lands space rover on Mars to look for extraterrestrial life on planet

"Perseverance is NASA's most ambitious Mars rover mission yet," said the space agency's Thomas Zurbuchen.

NASA's newest rover, Perseverance, landed Thursday on Mars.

Live feeds from NASA showed the six-legged craft streaked through Mars' orange sky, then land on the planet at 3:55 p.m. (EST.) 

It took a 11 1/2 tension-filled minutes for the rover's signal that it had landed to reach Earth, according to the Associated Press.

Ground controllers at the space agency’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, in Pasadena, California, cheered and exchanged fist bumps and high-fives in triumph. 

The mission hopes to solve the long-asked question of whether life ever existed on Mars.

"Perseverance is NASA's most ambitious Mars rover mission yet, focused scientifically whether there was ever any life on Mars in the past," said Thomas Zurbuchen an associate administrator for the Science Mission Directorate at NASA.

Zurbuchen also said Perseverance is landing on Mars' most challenging terrain.

The rover is being accompanied by NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO) and the Mars Atmospheric and Volatile Evolution or MAVEN. The two satellites are orbiting Mars and will transmit data from Perseverance.

NASA TV will also broadcast live coverage of the mission's control room during the landing.