In one of the most ambitious and costliest missions of all time, Nasa's Curiosity rover has successfully landed on Mars.

Curiosity is on a two-year mission to the red planet to investigate whether it has previously harboured life.

According to a Nasa statement, the rover, built at a cost of $2.5bn ($1.6bn), landed in the evening of 5 August, and captured a series of low-res images upon its arrival.

High-resolution colour images are expected to be sent in the next few days.

Scientists at the lab were jubilant at the landing and embraced each other in joy. "We're on Mars again, and it's absolutely incredible. It doesn't get any better than this," said Nasa administrator Charles Bolden.

Before the vehicle begins its full mission, its condition will be closely examined in the next few hours.

First pictures from Nasa's Curiosity. Photo: NASANASA
Photos of Mars surface taken by Curiosity. Source: NASA/JPL
In this image from NASA TV, shot off a video screen, one of the first images from the Curiosity rover is pictured of its wheel after it successfully landed on MarsReuters
In this image shot off a video screen from NASA TV, members of the Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) team celebrate as the first images are shown on screen from the Curiosity roverReuters
Scientists celebrate after the successful landing.NASA
In this image shot off a video screen from NASA TV, members of the Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) team celebrate as the first images are shown on screen from the Curiosity roverReuters