• Most Recent Mars Mission

Perseverance Rover

- Arrived Feb 2021-

Will seek signs of ancient life at Jezero Crater,  by studying Martian terrain that once held flowing rivers and lakes. The rover will also carry the Mars Helicopter and collect samples for an Earth return mission.

  • Mars Mission Images

Mars Mission Images

  •  Mars Missions: Operating

Perseverance

- Arrived Feb 2021 -

Landed in Jezero Crater to look for signs of ancient life in a former water environment. It will collect soil samples for a sample return mission and also fly a mini-helicopter as techn0logy test.

Tianwen-1

- Arrived Feb 2021 -

The first Chinese Mars mission combines an orbiter and lander/rover.  The orbiter will map surface details and measure atmosphere and magnetic fields. The rover will land in Utopia Planitia in May, to analyse surface soil, climate, and water-ice distribution.

Hope

- Arrived Feb 2021 -

The first Emirates Mars mission will study dynamics in ​the Martian atmosphere on a global scale to improve understanding of ​circulation and weather in the Martian lower and middle atmosphere.

InSight

- Arrived Nov 2018 -

A static lander investigating the dynamics of Martian tectonic activity and meteorite impacts.

Mars Orbiter Mission (MOM) Mangalyaan

- Arrived Dec 2014 -

A "Technology demonstration" mission from India that will observe physical features and carry out a limited study of the atmosphere.

MSL Curiosity

- Arrived Aug 2012 -

A mobile science laboratory studying whether Gale Crater provided a habitat for ancient primitive life on Mars at Gale Crater.

Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO)

- Arrived Sep 2006 -

An orbiter with a high-resolution telescopic camera called HiRISE, and instruments to detect subsurface water/ice and to study the atmosphere.

Mars Express

- Arrived Dec 2003 -

An orbiter investigating geology, atmosphere, surface environment, history of water and potential for life.

Mars Odyssey

- Arrived Oct 2001 -

An orbiter analysing Mars for hazards to future explorers. Also, maps chemical & mineral makeup of Mars for evidence of water and volcanic activity.

  • Mars Missions: No Longer Operating

Phoenix

- Landed May 2008 -

The lander touched down farther north on Mars than any previous spacecraft. It verified the presence of water-ice in the Martian subsurface and sent back over 25,000 pictures.

 

Opportunity

- Landed Jan 25 2004 -

The Opportunity Rover landed at Meridiani Planum and found evidence that Mars may once have been able to sustain microbial life.

Spirit

- Landed Jan 4 2004 -

The Spirit Rover landed at Gusev Crater and uncovered strong evidence that Mars was once much wetter than it is now.

Mars Global Surveyor

- Arrived Sep 1997 -

The orbiter significantly changed our understanding of Mars, including finding evidence water still flows in short bursts down hillside gullies. It sent more than 240,000 high resolution images to Earth.

Mars Pathfinder

- Landed Jul 4 1997 -

The mission was mainly designed to demonstrate a low-cost way of delivering a set of science instruments and a free-ranging rover to the surface of Mars. It also collected data on geology and meteorology.

Phobos 2 (Soviet)

- Arrived Jan 1989 -

The orbiter returned 37 images of Mars and Phobos with a resolution of up to 40 meters before it failed.

Viking 1 & 2 Orbiters & Landers

- Arrived Mars June-July 1976 -

The lander's mission was to analyse soil samples for signs of life, the results of which were deemed inconclusive. The orbiters also mapped the planet returning 50,000 images.

Mars 4 & 5 (Soviet)

- Arrived Feb 1974 -

Mars-4 failed to enter orbit, but took 12 images as it passed by the planet. Mars-5 lasted about 2 weeks, returning 60 images south of Valles Marineris.

Mariner 9

- Arrived Nov 1971 -

The first spacecraft to orbit another planet, mapped 85% of the Martian surface and sent back more than 7,000 pictures, including images of Olympus Mons, Valles Marineris, and Phobos and Deimos.

Mars 2 & 3 Orbiters & Landers (Soviet)

- Arrived Dec 1971 -

The Soviet Mars 3 lander was the first spacecraft to soft land on Mars, but lasted less than a minute. Mars 2 crashed, although the orbiters lasted 8 months.

Mariner 6 & 7

- Mars flyby July 1969 -

Both spacecraft had similar missions that flew over the equator and south polar regions, analysing the atmosphere and the surface with remote sensors, and recording and relaying hundreds of pictures.

Mariner 4

- Mars flyby July 1965 -

The first spacecraft to fly by Mars on July 14, 1965. It sent back 21 photos of the Red Planet back to Earth.