Surviving what was described as “7 minutes of terror” as it slowed from 13,000 miles per hour to zero, the lander made it and is transmitting data:
NASA’s Curiosity rover has landed on Mars! Its descent-stage retrorockets fired, guiding it to the surface. Nylon cords lowered the rover to the ground in the “sky crane” maneuver. When the spacecraft sensed touchdown, the connecting cords were severed, and the descent stage flew out of the way. The time of day at the landing site is mid-afternoon — about 3 p.m. local Mars time at Gale Crater. The time at JPL’s mission control is about 10:31 p.m. Aug. 5 PDT (early morning EDT).
Appropriate to our modern world, the first communication was, of course, a tweet.