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Timeline: A Historic Have a look at Each Mission to Mars

Inside our Photo voltaic System, Mars is among the most related planets to Earth—each have rocky landscapes, strong outer crusts, and cores manufactured from molten rock.

Due to its similarities to Earth and proximity, humanity has been fascinated by Mars for hundreds of years. In truth, it’s some of the explored objects in our Photo voltaic System.

However simply what number of missions to Mars have we launched into, and which of those journeys have been profitable? This graphic by Jonathan Letourneau reveals a timeline of each mission to Mars since 1960 utilizing NASA’s historic knowledge.

A Timeline of Mars Explorations

Based on a historic log from NASA, there have been 48 missions to Mars over the past 60 years. Right here’s a breakdown of every mission, and whether or not or not they have been profitable:

# Launch Identify Nation Outcome
1 1960 Korabl 4 USSR (flyby) Failure
2 1960 Korabl 5 USSR (flyby) Failure
3 1962 Korabl 11 USSR (flyby) Failure
4 1962 Mars 1 USSR (flyby) Failure
5 1962 Korabl 13 USSR (flyby) Failure
6 1964 Mariner 3 US (flyby) Failure
7 1964 Mariner 4 US (flyby) Success
8 1964 Zond 2 USSR (flyby) Failure
9 1969 Mars 1969A USSR Failure
10 1969 Mars 1969B USSR Failure
11 1969 Mariner 6 US (flyby) Success
12 1969 Mariner 7 US (flyby) Success
13 1971 Mariner 8 US Failure
14 1971 Kosmos 419 USSR Failure
15 1971 Mars 2 Orbiter/Lander USSR Failure
16 1971 Mars 3 Orbiter/Lander USSR Success/Failure
17 1971 Mariner 9 US Success
18 1973 Mars 4 USSR Failure
19 1973 Mars 5 USSR Success
20 1973 Mars 6 Orbiter/Lander USSR Success/Failure
21 1973 Mars 7 Lander USSR Failure
22 1975 Viking 1 Orbiter/Lander US Success
23 1975 Viking 2 Orbiter/Lander US Success
24 1988 Phobos 1 Orbiter USSR Failure
25 1988 Phobos 2 Orbiter/Lander USSR Failure
26 1992 Mars Observer US Failure
27 1996 Mars World Surveyor US Success
28 1996 Mars 96 Russia Failure
29 1996 Mars Pathfinder US Success
30 1998 Nozomi Japan Failure
31 1998 Mars Local weather Orbiter US Failure
32 1999 Mars Polar Lander US Failure
33 1999 Deep Area 2 Probes (2) US Failure
34 2001 Mars Odyssey US Success
35 2003 Mars Categorical Orbiter/Beagle 2 Lander ESA Success/Failure
36 2003 Mars Exploration Rover – Spirit US Success
37 2003 Mars Exploration Rover – Alternative US Success
38 2005 Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter US Success
39 2007 Phoenix Mars Lander US Success
40 2011 Mars Science Laboratory US Success
41 2011 Phobos-Grunt/Yinghuo-1 Russia/China Failure
42 2013 Mars Ambiance and Unstable Evolution US Success
43 2013 Mars Orbiter Mission (MOM) India Success
44 2016 ExoMars Orbiter/Schiaparelli EDL Demo Lander ESA/Russia Success/Failure
45 2018 Mars InSight Lander US Success
46 2020 Hope Orbiter UAE Success
47 2020 Tianwen-1 Orbiter/Zhurong Rover China Success
48 2020 Mars 2020 Perseverance Rover US Success

The primary mission to Mars was tried by the Soviets in 1960, with the launch of Korabl 4, also referred to as Mars 1960A.

Because the desk above reveals, the voyage was unsuccessful. The spacecraft made it 120 km into the air, however its third-stage pumps didn’t generate sufficient momentum for it to remain in Earth’s orbit.

For the subsequent few years, a number of extra unsuccessful Mars missions have been tried by the USSR after which NASA. Then, in 1964, historical past was made when NASA launched the Mariner 4 and accomplished the first-ever profitable journey to Mars.

The Mariner 4 didn’t truly land on the planet, however the spacecraft flew by Mars and was capable of seize images, which gave us an up-close glimpse on the planet’s rocky floor.

Then on July 20, 1976, NASA made historical past once more when its spacecraft referred to as Viking 1 touched down on Mars’ floor, making it the primary area company to finish a profitable Mars touchdown. Viking 1 captured panoramic photos of the planet’s terrain, and in addition enabled scientists to watch the planet’s climate.

Trip to Mars, Anybody?

Up to now, all Mars landings have been executed with out crews, however NASA is planning to ship people to Mars by the late 2030s.

And it’s not simply authorities businesses which might be planning missions to Mars—a variety of personal firms are getting concerned, too. Elon Musk’s aerospace firm SpaceX has a long-term plan to construct a complete metropolis on Mars.

Two different aerospace startups, Impulse and Relativity, additionally introduced an unmanned joint mission to Mars in July 2022, with hopes it could possibly be prepared as quickly as 2024.

As extra gamers are added to the combination, the stress is on to be the primary firm or company to actually make it to Mars. If (or when) we attain that time, what’s subsequent is anybody’s guess.

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