The Phoenix lander has made a perfect landing near the ice cap of Mars and has started broadcasting from the surface.
The probe used the planet's atmosphere and a specially designed parachute from the 1976 Viking probe to slow from 13,000mph before landing under rocket power.
On landing the probe deployed its solar panel and sent back the first images from the Martian arctic just after midday on 25 May.
"Phoenix is an amazing machine, and it was built and flown by an amazing team. It performed flawlessly through the entire entry, descent and landing phases," said Ed Sedivy, Phoenix programme manager at Lockheed Martin Space Systems Company.
"The spacecraft stayed in contact with Earth during that critical period, and we received a lot of data about its health and performance. I am happy to report that it's in great shape."
Only five of the past 11 Mars missions have successfully made it to the surface intact, and Phoenix is the first to do so via rocket rather than bouncing down using airbags.
Nasa reported that the probe landed with an accuracy of 0.25 per cent, which has given administrators hope that they can target specific areas for exploration.
The probe will now unfold its seven-foot robotic arm and begin burrowing under the surface for the permafrost to search for water and possible signs of life.
"We see the lack of rocks that we expected, and we see the polygons that we saw from space," said Peter Smith of the University of Arizona, principal investigator for the Phoenix mission.
"We don't see ice on the surface, but we think we will see it beneath the surface. It looks great to me."
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