This was the setup in my living room last night:
On the left, an animation showing what the rover should be doing right now; on the right, a roomful of engineers reacts to the signals coming back from Curiosity. It wasn’t at all clear that this landing would work. Mars has a way of eating up the unmanned spacecraft that Earth sends its way, and this one had a particularly clever, and complicated, way to get the rover on the ground.
In the control room in California, those blue-shirted people waited to hear each signal, and to find out what would happen with those years of labor. When it was clear that the rover was on the ground and ok, the room erupted in cheers and hugs. A few workers burst into tears.