Almost half a hundred missions have been sent to Mars since the last century, but only one in three has prospered. Mars has revealed itself as a difficult planet, but not insurmountable. The first missions that were sent to the red planet were called overflight, and consisted of space probes that came near the planet to obtain images. This is the case of the American Mariner and the Soviet Viking probes.
In 1971, the Soviet space program got the Mars 3 orbital module to step on the surface of Mars, but only sent information for 20 seconds before shutting down. We had to wait until 1996 for a robot to land on Mars and move around the planet to explore it. It was the American mission Mars Pathfinder, which thanks to the Sojourner vehicle obtained a large amount of scientific data.
The two most famous missions on the Martian surface are those of the Spirit and Opportunity explorers, which appears in the image. Both robots reached opposite sides of the planet in January 2004, and are still operational today. In these years they have covered several kilometers of the surface of Mars, sending more than 100,000 high resolution images.
Among the most interesting missions that are currently preparing to explore Mars, the Orion exploration manned vehicle stands out. This is a NASA project that aims to send an astronaut to Mars. They are designing a space capsule that can take a human being to the Moon by the year 2020. Later these vehicles will be sent to Mars, which would represent the presence of human beings on the red planet for the first time in the history of Humanity.
|◄ Previous||Next ►|
|Water on Mars||Blue Planet|