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Mars - The Red Planet

Mars Missions

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Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter Mission

Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter Mission

NASA
Overview | Moons | Missions
Gallery | Facts, Figures & Fun

Mars Missions

Mars is a great target for scientific research. There have been and continue to be some fascinating missions to the Red Planet.

Past:

  • Mariner 3
    Mars photography mission.
  • Mariner 4
    1st spacecraft to get a close look at Mars.
  • Mariner 6
    Mariners 6 and 7 - identical teammates in a two-spacecraft mission to Mars.
  • Mariner 7
    Between them, they transmitted a total of 143 pictures of Mars as they approached and 55 close-up pictures as they flew past the equator and southern hemisphere.
  • Mariner 8
    The overall goals of the series were to search for an environment that could support life.
  • Mariner 9
    Mariner 9 was the first spacecraft to orbit another planet.
  • Viking 1
    Another twin spacecraft mission, consisting of Viking 1 and Viking 2, launched within a couple of weeks of each other. Viking 1 snapped the infamous "Face on Mars" image.
  • Viking 2
    The Viking missions revealed further details of volcanoes, lava plains, huge canyons, and the effects of wind and water.
  • Fobos 1
    Due to a programming error, the spacecraft flew past Mars without activating its science instruments or deploying its lander.
  • Mars Observer
    Mars Observer, the first of the Observer series of planetary missions, was designed to study the geoscience and climate of Mars.
  • Mars Pathfinder
    Mars Pathfinder was an ambitious mission to send a lander and a separate, remote-controlled rover to the surface of Mars and demonstrated a number of innovative, economical, and highly effective approaches to spacecraft and mission design of a planetary landing mission.
  • Nozomi
    Intended to be Japan's first Mars orbiter, Nozomi was Japan's fourth "deep space" probe.
  • Mars Climate Orbiter
    Mars Climate Orbiter was designed to function as an interplanetary weather satellite and a communications relay for Mars Polar Lander.
  • Mars Polar Lander
    The last telemetry from Mars Polar Lander was sent just prior to atmospheric entry on 3 December 1999. It was never heard from again.
  • Deep Space 2 The deep Space 2 probes were lost with the Mars Polar Lander.
  • Beagle 2
    Beagle 2 was declared lost after no communications were received following the scheduled landing on Mars.
  • Spirit
    The "Spirit" rover (Mars Exploration Rover A) is one of the two rovers launched to Mars in mid-2003.
  • Opportunity
    Opportunity (Mars Exploration Rover B) found the strongest evidence yet that liquid water once existed on the surface of Mars.
Present:
  • Mars Global Surveyor
    Mars Global Surveyor was the first successful mission to the Red Planet in two decades.
  • Mars 2001 Odyssey
    The 2001 Mars Odyssey is the remaining part of the Mars Surveyor 2001 Project, which originally consisted of two separately launched missions.
  • Mars Express
    Mars Express is the European Space Agency's first visit to another planet.
  • Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter
    The Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO) is designed to orbit Mars over a full martian year and gather data with six scientific instruments, including a high-resolution imager.
  • Phoenix
    Phoenix is truly a mission risen from the ashes.
Future: Overview | Moons | Missions | Gallery | Facts, Figures & Fun
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