Science and Nature

Commute do Mars: A timeline of Pink Planet landings


Sky Crane in aerial ballet mode during the descent of NASA’s Curiosity rover to the Martian surface.

Sky Crane in aerial ballet mode at some stage in the descent of NASA’s Curiosity rover to the Martian surface.

(Image: © NASA/JPL-Caltech)

NASA’s most up-to-date Mars rover is set to kind a touchdown because the agency starts a protracted quest to dispute the first Pink Planet samples reduction to Earth.

The Perseverance rover, carrying the Ingenuity helicopter for making an strive out flight on Mars, is scheduled to the touch down on Feb. 18. The rover’s entry, descent and touchdown is the same to the Curiosity rover’s “seven minutes of fright” in 2012, which comprises a rocket powered sky crane to lower the rover to the outside.

The unique rover follows a protracted heritage of landers, rovers and other craft that luxuriate in attempted to stumble on the Pink Planet.

Connected: Mars explored: landers and rovers since 1971 (infographic)

Right here’s a see on the total outdated missions that luxuriate in attempted to land on Mars:

Mars 2: (FAILED) USSR, launched Can also 19, 1971. The Mars orbiter and lander arrived on Nov. 2, 1971, but returned no priceless data, and the lander burned up attributable to steep entry.

Mars 3: (FAILED) USSR, launched Can also 28, 1971. The Mars orbiter and lander arrived on Dec. 3, 1971. The lander operated on the outside of Mars for 20 seconds forward of failing.

Mars 6: (FAILED) USSR, launched Aug. 5, 1973. The Mars flyby module and lander arrived on March 3, 1974 however the lander failed attributable to a posthaste influence.

Mars 7: (FAILED) USSR, launched Aug. 9, 1973. The Mars flyby module and lander arrived on March 3, 1974 however the lander missed the planet.

Viking 1: U.S., launched Aug. 20, 1975. The Mars orbiter operated from June 1976 to 1980 and the lander operated from July 1976 to 1982.

Viking 2: U.S., launched Sept. 9, 1975. The Mars orbiter operated from Aug. 1976 to 1987, and the lander operated from Sept. 3, 1976 to 1980. Combined, the Viking orbiters and landers returned higher than 50,000 photos.

Viking 2 looks out across Utopia Planitia.

Viking 2 appears to be like to be like out across Utopia Planitia. (Image credit: NASA/JPL)

Phobos 1: (FAILED) USSR, launched July 7, 1988. The Mars orbiter and Phobos lander were lost in Aug. 1988 en route to Mars. 

Phobos 2: (FAILED) USSR, launched July 12, 1988. The Mars orbiter and Phobos lander were lost in March 1989 advance the Martian moon Phobos.

Mars 96: (FAILED) Russia, launched Nov. 16, 1996. The orbiter, two landers and two penetrators were lost after the rocket failed.

Mars Pathfinder: U.S., launched Dec. 4, 1996. The Mars lander and rover, called Sojourner, landed on July 4, 1997 and communicated with ground groups closing on Sept. 27, 1997.

Mars Polar Lander/Deep Condominium 2: (FAILED) U.S., launched Jan. 3, 1999. The lander and two penetrators were lost on arrival in December 1999.

Beagle 2: (FAILED) European Condominium Company, launched June 2, 2003. Beagle 2 launched on ESA’s Mars Explicit orbiter, which complet­ed its high mission in November 2005 and is currently on an prolonged mission. The Beagle 2 lander, nevertheless, become lost on arrival on Dec. 25, 2003.

NASA's Opportunity rover on Mars looks away from the sun into Endurance Crater and sees its shadow. The image was taken looking eastward shortly before sunset on the 3,609th Martian day, or sol, of Opportunity's work on Mars (March 20, 2014).

NASA’s Opportunity rover on Mars appears to be like to be like some distance from the solar into Endurance Crater and sees its shadow. The describe become taken taking a see eastward almost right now forward of sunset on the three,609th Martian day, or sol, of Opportunity’s work on Mars (March 20, 2014).  (Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech)

Mars Exploration Rover Spirit: U.S., launched June 10, 2003. The Mars rover landed on the Pink Planet on Jan. 4, 2004 for three-month mission to see for indicators of past water declare on Mars, and realized in depth evidence over decades. Floor controllers lost conversation with Spirit in March 2010, and repeated attempts to evoke the rover failed. The rover some distance outlived its intended warranty, and is life like a success. NASA declared Spirit ineffective in Can also 2011.

Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity: U.S., launched July 7, 2003. The Mars rover landed on Jan. 25, 2004 for a 3-month high mission in the Meridiani Planum pickle. The rover has logged higher than 20 miles on the Pink Planet and become sooner or later felled by a scarcity of energy attributable to a intellectual sandstorm on Mars in 2018. The mission become declared over on Feb. 13, 2019, having lasted for 15 years — some distance past invent expectations — and discovering sizable evidence of water on the outside.

Phoenix Mars Lander:  U.S., launched Aug. 4, 2007. The Mars lander touched down on Can also 25, 2008 and dug by device of Martian soil to substantiate the presence of water ice beneath the outside. Phoenix’s photo voltaic panels suffered severe hurt from the harsh Martian iciness, and conversation with the $475 million lander become lost in November 2008. After repeated attempts to reestablish contact, NASA declared Phoenix broken and ineffective in Can also 2010.

Phobos-Exclaim: (FAILED) Russia, launched Nov. 8, 2011 on a mission to reach samples from the Mars moon Phobos. The $163 million robotic probe suffered a crippling malfunction almost right now after launch, stranding it in Earth orbit. Mission managers talked about Phobos-Exclaim spacecraft’s thrusters failed to fire in a maneuver that will per chance luxuriate in despatched the spacecraft on to Mars. The spacecraft plummeted reduction to Earth and become destroyed on Jan. 15, 2012.

Mars Science Laboratory/Curiosity: U.S., launched Nov. 26, 2011. The $2.5 billion Curiosity rover landed at Gale crater on the night of Aug. 5, 2012, and has spent the closing several Twelve months investigating Mount Keen/Aeolis Mons to be taught about the history of water across Martian geologic sessions. The Mars rover is investigating whether the planet become ever hospitable to life, and has realized sizable evidence of organic molecules and water in the past decade. Its foremost mission has been prolonged several cases.

Schiaparelli (FAILED): European Condominium Company, launched March 14, 2016 with a failed touchdown strive on Oct. 19, 2016. Schiaparelli become a touchdown demonstrator supposed to test future touchdown applied sciences for Martian missions. It arrived safely on the Pink Planet with the Hint Gasoline Orbiter, but conflicting data triggered the limited probe to wreck into the outside. Happily, nevertheless, TGO safely remained in orbit as deliberate and continues to gain data.

InSight: U.S., launched Can also 5, 2018 and landed Nov. 26, 2018. InSight is provided to probe the inner of Mars and has realized sizable evidence of marsquakes. Surely one of its higher needs is to higher fee the history and formation of rocky planets extra most ceaselessly, utilizing Mars as a test bed for our theories. Engineers spent two Earth years making an strive to position a heat-in the hunt for mole below the outside, however the effort in a roundabout device become called off since the regolith (soil) become harder than expected. InSight is now on an prolonged mission, having met its foremost mission needs. 

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