Mars has been a planet that has been incredibly difficult to land on. There have been 56 Mars missions (so far), with only 26 of these missions listed as successful.
The red planet was named after the mythological god of war and other than the moon, we have sent more attempted missions there than anywhere else in space.
Some of the failures have been due to the fact that Mars was the first planet that we attempted to explore and we made a lot of mistakes.
Other failures have been due to the incredible challenge space exploration brings.
However, humanity doesn’t give up and the tenacity has brought about some success.
We currently have six satellites orbiting Mars and one of the rovers is still operational.
The data that we are receiving is incredibly valuable and we learn more about the red planet every day.
If you wonder why we are adamantly attracted to exploring Mars, it’s because scientists feel that Mars is very Earth-like and has a complex geological history.
The more that we learn about Mars, the more that we learn about Earth and our solar system.
Past Historic Missions:
Mars 3 was successful for orbit and had a brief successful descent craft.
Data and information was sent back during orbits.
Mars 4,5 and 6 successfully arrived at Mars to perform experiments in proving the ionosphere existence on Mars.
Mars 7 missed the planet trajectory completely.
Once landed, Viking 1 conducted experiments, took soil samples and reported weather information.
After 1,400 orbits, the orbiter was powered down in 1980 and the lander on the surface survived until November, 1982.
Successful atmospheric readings and scientific experiments were conducted
During the duration it transmitted enough data to show multiple winters.
Between Viking 1 and 2, over 1,400 images of the Martian surface were transmitted with over 50,000 images total.
Only two months into the mission the controllers on Earth accidently uploaded software that commanded deactivation codes.
The spacecraft turned its solar panels from the sun and was unable to recharge the batteries.
The mission was extended three times, which makes it the longest-lived spacecraft in orbit around Mars.
Contact was lost November 5, 2006.
The rover and lander continued to transmit data until September 27, 1997. The mission was originally only supposed to last 30 days.
Spirit sent back images of a landscape covered in rocks and had to rove several km over the surface of Mars before it found evidence of past liquid water.
Spirit became hobbled when one of its wheels were stuck for many years. When it was unable to move to maintain a charged battery, the mission was declared to have ended in 2011.
Spirit was only designed to function for 6 months and lasted 7 years.
Opportunity moved over 33 km of Martian terrain, collecting information and sending data back to Earth.
A major global dust storm in 2018 caused the rover to lose power. NASA declared the mission at an end on February 13, 2019.
Opportunity was only designed to function for around 6 months and it was successfully active for over 16 years.
Phoenix was solar powered and ended when cloud cover and winter temperatures depleted solar power.
Continued communication attempts resulted in declaring the mission to be dead in May, 2010.
The mission completed all of the observations and planned science experiments