Historical Missions to Mars

Mission: Country, Launch Date, Purpose, Results

Marsnik 1: USSR, 10/10/60, Mars flyby, did not reach Earth orbit

Marsnik 2: USSR, 10/14/60, Mars flyby, did not reach Earth orbit

Sputnik 22: USSR, 10/24/62, Mars flyby, achieved Earth orbit only

Mars 1: USSR, 11/1/62, Mars flyby, radio failed at 106 million kilometers (65.9 million miles)

Sputnik 24: USSR, 11/4/62, Mars flyby, achieved Earth orbit only

Mariner 3: U.S., 11/5/64, Mars flyby, shroud failed to jettison

Mariner 4: U.S. 11/28/64, first successful Mars flyby 7/14/65, returned 21 photos

Zond 2: USSR, 11/30/64, Mars flyby, passed Mars but radio failed, returned no planetary data

Mariner 6: U.S., 2/24/69, Mars flyby 7/31/69, returned 75 photos

Mariner 7: U.S., 3/27/69, Mars flyby 8/5/69, returned 126 photos

Mars 1969A, USSR, 3/27/69, Mars orbiter, did not reach Earth orbit

Mars 1969B, USSR, 4/2/69, Mars orbiter, failed during launch

Mariner 8: U.S., 5/8/71, Mars orbiter, failed during launch

Kosmos 419: USSR, 5/10/71, Mars orbiter, achieved Earth orbit only

Mars 2: USSR, 5/19/71, Mars orbiter/lander arrived 11/27/71, no useful data, lander burned up due to steep entry

Mars 3: USSR, 5/28/71, Mars orbiter/lander, arrived 12/3/71, lander operated on surface for 20 seconds before failing

Mariner 9: U.S., 5/30/71, Mars orbiter, in orbit 11/13/71 to 10/27/72, returned 7,329 photos

Mars 4: USSR, 7/21/73, failed Mars orbiter, flew past Mars 2/10/74

Mars 5: USSR, 7/25/73, Mars orbiter, arrived 2/12/74, lasted a few days

Mars 6: USSR, 8/5/73, Mars flyby module and lander, arrived 3/12/74, lander failed due to fast impact

Mars 7: USSR, 8/9/73, Mars flyby module and lander, arrived 3/9/74, lander missed the planet

Viking 1: U.S., 8/20/75, Mars orbiter/lander, orbit 6/19/76-1980, lander 7/20/76-1982

Viking 2: U.S., 9/9/75, Mars orbiter/lander, orbit 8/7/76-1987, lander 9/3/76-1980; combined, the Viking orbiters and landers returned more than 50,000 photos

Phobos 1: USSR, 7/7/88, Mars orbiter and Phobos lander, lost 8/88 en route to Mars

Phobos 2: USSR, 7/12/88, Mars orbiter and Phobos lander, lost 3/89 near Phobos

Mars Observer: U.S., 9/25/92, lost just before Mars arrival 8/21/93

Mars Global Surveyor: U.S., 11/7/96, Mars orbiter, arrived 9/12/97, last communication 11//2/06; returned more than 240,000 camera images, 206 million spectrometer measurements and 671 million laser-altimeter shots

Mars 96: Russia, 11/16/96, orbiter, two landers and two penetrators, launch vehicle failed

Mars Pathfinder: U.S., 12/4/96, Mars lander and rover, landed 7/4/97, last transmission 9/27/97

Nozomi: Japan, 7/4/98, Mars orbiter, failed to enter orbit 12/03

Mars Climate Orbiter: U.S., 12/11/98, lost upon arrival 9/23/99

Mars Polar Lander/Deep Space 2: U.S., 1/3/99, lander and two penetrators, lost on arrival 12/3/99

Mars Odyssey: U.S., 3/7/01, Mars orbiter, arrived 10/24/01, still conducting extended science mission and providing relay for Mars Exploration Rovers; has returned about 350,000 images, mapped global distributions of several elements, relayed more than 95 percent of all data from Spirit and Opportunity

Mars Express/Beagle 2: European Space Agency, 6/2/03, Mars orbiter/lander, orbiter completed prime mission 11/05, currently in extended mission; lander lost on arrival 12/25/03

Mars Exploration Rover Spirit: U.S., 6/10/03, Mars rover, landed 1/4/04 for three-month prime mission inside Gusev Crater, currently conducting extended mission

Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity: U.S., 7/7/03, Mars rover, landed 1/25/04 for three-month prime mission in Meridiani Planum region, currently conducting extended mission

Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter: U.S., 8/12/05, Mars orbiter, began orbiting 3/12/06, currently conducting primary science phase; has provided data that include more than 25,000 images and 3,500 radar observations. The mission has returned more total data than produced by all previous Mars missions combined.


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