After an eight month journey, NASA’s multi-billion dollar rover Curiosity made a successful landing on Mars early this morning. Mission controllers cheered after the six-wheeled, one-ton machine made a perilous seven-minute landing involving a parachute, rocket pack and sky crane.

The $2.5 billion rover, which is meant to operate for at least the next two years, safely touched down in the midst of Gale Crater and beamed back its first images. This is NASA’s first astrobiology mission since the Viking probes in the 1970s.

While roaming the surface of Mars, Curiosity will attempt to determine if the Red Planet was ever capable of supporting life. It will also use a full suite of sophisticated equipment, including 17 cameras and instruments that can analyze soil and rocks, to do so.

Check out photos below.