Beer was flowing and geeks were hooting and hollering all over Pasadena as NASA's rover Curiosity landed successfully on the surface of Mars on Sunday night (or for those on the East Coast, early Monday morning).

Gregory Galgana Villar III, one of NASA's youngest engineers on the rover mission, is still processing "his first Mars project." Like his colleagues, the young operations systems engineer had given up vacation time, opportunities to spend time with family and friends, and countless hours of sleep for that moment.

"It was unreal," he told The Huffington Post over the phone. "I couldn't hold myself back -- we were jumping up and down, hugging each other, tearing up."

After the initial euphoria subsided, the crew kept working for two to three more hours before migrating over to nearby bar The Crest in La Crescenta, which NASA workers had reserved from 8 p.m. until 7 a.m. the next morning. Nearly 100 employees toasted to their success with family and friends, and when Curiosity released its first batch of photos from Mars, it was another cause for celebration. "We were just blown away once again!" said Villar.

Villar was born and raised in Long Beach and attended high school at St. Louis University Laboratory High School in Baguio City, Philippines, where his parents are from. He has been working for NASA since he was a junior at Cal Poly Pomona. After he graduated, his internships turned into a full-time engineering job.

For Villar, part of Curiosity's mission is to spark more questions about science and engineering among America's youth, as well as show political leaders that NASA is still worth funding.

"I hope that it will continue to inspire people and show decision makers in our government that these types of missions are essential to our progression as humans," said Villar. "And I hope the youth are inspired."

Check out Villar's pre-landing interview with Patch about how Curiosity's mission is different from other missions. Then check out photos of NASA staffers celebrating below:

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  • Miguel San Martin, Adam Steltzner

    Mars Science Laboratory Curiosity team member Miguel San Martin, Chief Engineer, Guidance, Navigation, and Control at Jet Propulsion Laboratory, left, celebrates with Adam Steltzner, MSL entry, descent and landing (EDL) of the Mars Science Laboratory (MSL), right, after the successful landing of Curiosity rover on the surface of Mars at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif., Sunday, Aug. 5, 2012. (AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes)

  • In this photo released by NASA/JPL-Caltech, Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) team members react after the Curiosity rover successfully landed on Mars and as first images start coming in to the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Sunday, Aug. 5, 2012 in Pasadena, Calif. (AP Photo/NASA/JPL-Caltech)

  • Richard Cook, Adam Steltzner, John Grotzinger

    Mars Science Laboratory Curiosity members from left: Richard Cook, MSL deputy project manager, Adam Steltzner, MSL entry, descent and landing (EDL) lead and John Grotzinger, MSL project scientist, California Institute of Technology, from the Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) Curiosity Rover mission team celebrate the landing of Curiosity rover on the surface of Mars at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif., Sunday, Aug. 5, 2012. (AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes)

  • In a photo provided by NASA, Christopher J. Scolese, Director of NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center, left, congratulates, MSL Entry, Descent and Landing Engineer Adam Steltzner as they look at the first images of Mars to come from the Curiosity rover shortly after it landed on Mars, Sunday, Aug. 5, 2012 at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif. Curiosity was designed to assess whether Mars ever had an environment able to support small life forms called microbes. (AP Photo/Bill Ingalls)

  • MARS LANDING

    Peter Ilott, center, and his colleagues celebrate a successful landing inside the Spaceflight Operations Facility for NASA's Mars Science Laboratory Curiosity rover at Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif. USA on Sunday, Aug. 5, 2012. The Curiosity robot is equipped with a nuclear-powered lab capable of vaporizing rocks and ingesting soil, measuring habitability, and potentially paving the way for human exploration. (AP Photo/Brian van der Brug, Pool)

  • Mars Science Laboratory Curiosity team members celebrate the landing of Curiosity rover on the surface of Mars at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif., Sunday, August 5, 2012. (AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes)

  • John Grunsfeld, Charles Elachi, Pete Theisinger, Richard Cook, Adam Steltzner, John Grotzinger

    Mars Science Laboratory Curiosity members from left: John Grunsfeld, NASA associate administrator, Charles Elachi, director, JPL, Pete Theisinger, MSL project manager, Richard Cook, MSL deputy project manager, Adam Steltzner, MSL entry, descent and landing (EDL) lead and John Grotzinger, MSL project scientist, California Institute of Technology, from the Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) Curiosity Rover mission team raise their arms celebrate the landing of Curiosity rover on the surface of Mars at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif., Sunday, Aug. 5, 2012. (AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes)

  • In a photo provided by NASA, Mars Science Laboratory Entry, Descent and Landing Engineer Adam Steltzner reacts after the Curiosity rover successfully landed on Mars and as first images start coming in to the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Sunday Aug. 5, 2012, in Pasadena, Calif. The MSL Rover named Curiosity was designed to assess whether Mars ever had an environment able to support small life forms called microbes. Photo Credit: (NASA/Bill Ingalls)