At 1:32 a.m. ET Monday morning, engineers at NASA's Mars Science Laboratory in California erupted in applause after confirming that Curiosity, an SUV-sized space rover, had successfully made contact on the planet Mars. Curiosity will now begin a two-year mission to determine if the Red Planet ever had the environment to support small life forms called microbes. Keep reading for a look at Curiosity's extraordinary journey. —Britt Middleton
Above, Mars is photographed in 2003 by the Hubble Space Telescope.