List of missions to Mars
This is a list of the 49 (and counting) spacecraft missions relating to the planet Mars, such as orbiters and rovers.
|Spacecraft||Launch Date||Operator||Mission||Outcome||Remarks||Carrier rocket|
|1M No.1||10 October 1960||OKB-1
|Flyby||Launch failure||Failed to orbit||Molniya|
|1M No.2||14 October 1960||OKB-1
|Flyby||Launch failure||Failed to orbit||Molniya|
|2MV-4 No.1||24 October 1962||Soviet Union||Flyby||Launch failure||Booster stage ("Block L") disintegrated in LEO||Molniya|
|1 November 1962||Soviet Union||Flyby||Spacecraft failure||Communications lost before flyby||Molniya|
|2MV-3 No.1||4 November 1962||Soviet Union||Lander||Launch failure||Never left LEO||Molniya|
|Mariner 3||5 November 1964||NASA
|Flyby||Launch failure||Payload fairing failed to separate||Atlas LV-3 Agena-D|
|Mariner 4||28 November 1964||NASA
|Flyby||Successful||The first flyby of Mars on 15 July 1965||Atlas LV-3 Agena-D|
|30 November 1964||Soviet Union||Flyby||Spacecraft failure||Communications lost before flyby||Molniya|
|Mariner 6||25 February 1969||NASA
|Flyby||Successful||Atlas SLV-3C Centaur-D|
|27 March 1969||Soviet Union||Orbiter||Launch failure||Failed to orbit||Proton-K/D|
|Mariner 7||27 March 1969||NASA
|Flyby||Successful||Atlas SLV-3C Centaur-D|
|2 April 1969||Soviet Union||Orbiter||Launch failure||Failed to orbit||Proton-K/D|
|Mariner 8||9 May 1971||NASA
|Orbiter||Launch failure||Failed to orbit||Atlas SLV-3C Centaur-D|
|10 May 1971||Soviet Union||Orbiter||Launch failure||Never left LEO; booster stage burn timer set incorrectly||Proton-K/D|
|19 May 1971||Soviet Union||Orbiter||Successful||Entered orbit on 27 November 1971, operated for 362 orbits||Proton-K/D|
|Mars 2 lander
(SA 4M No.171)
|19 May 1971||Soviet Union||Lander||Spacecraft failure||Deployed from Mars 2, failed to land during attempt on 27 November 1971||Proton-K/D|
|28 May 1971||Soviet Union||Orbiter||Successful||Entered orbit on 2 December 1971, operated for 20 orbits||Proton-K/D|
|Mars 3 lander
(SA 4M No.172)
|28 May 1971||Soviet Union||Lander||Successful||The first lander on Mars, soft landed on 2 December 1971. The first partial image (70 lines) was transmitted. Contact lost 14.5 seconds after transmission start.||Proton-K/D|
|Prop-M Rover rover
(SA 4M No.172)
|28 May 1971||Soviet Union||Rover||Partial failure||Deployment is unknown, due to communication problem because of storm||Proton-K/D|
|Mariner 9||30 May 1971||NASA
|Orbiter||Successful||The first orbiter of Mars. Entered orbit on 14 November 1971, deactivated 516 days after entering orbit||Atlas SLV-3C Centaur-D|
|21 July 1973||Soviet Union||Orbiter||Spacecraft failure||Failed to perform orbital insertion burn||Proton-K/D|
|25 July 1973||Soviet Union||Orbiter||Partial failure||Failed after 9 days in Mars orbit; returned 180 frames||Proton-K/D|
|5 August 1973||Soviet Union||Lander
|Spacecraft failure||Contact lost upon landing, atmospheric data mostly unreadable. Flyby bus collected data.||Proton-K/D|
|9 August 1973||Soviet Union||Lander
|Spacecraft failure||Separated from coast stage prematurely, failed to enter Martian atmosphere||Proton-K/D|
|Viking 1 orbiter||20 August 1975||NASA
|Orbiter||Successful||Operated for 1385 orbits. Entered Mars orbit in 1976 June 19.||Titan IIIE Centaur-D1T|
|Viking 1 lander||20 August 1975||NASA
|Lander||Successful||The second lander successfully returning data, deployed from Viking 1 orbiter. Operated for 2245 sols. Landed on Mars in 1976 July 20.||Titan IIIE Centaur-D1T|
|Viking 2 orbiter||9 September 1975||NASA
|Orbiter||Successful||Operated for 700 orbits. Entered Mars orbit in 1976 August 7.||Titan IIIE Centaur-D1T|
|Viking 2 lander||9 September 1975||NASA
|Lander||Successful||Deployed from Viking 2 orbiter, operated for 1281 sols (11 Apr 1980). Landed on Mars in 1976 September 3.||Titan IIIE Centaur-D1T|
|7 July 1988||Soviet Union||Orbiter
|Spacecraft failure||Communications lost before reaching Mars; failed to enter orbit||Proton-K/D-2|
|12 July 1988||Soviet Union||Orbiter
|Partial failure||Orbital observations successful, communications lost before landing||Proton-K/D-2|
|Mars Observer||25 September 1992||NASA
|Orbiter||Spacecraft failure||Lost communications before orbital insertion||Commercial Titan III|
|Mars Global Surveyor||7 November 1996||NASA
|Orbiter||Successful||Operated for seven years||Delta II 7925|
|16 November 1996||Rosaviakosmos
|Launch failure||Never left LEO||Proton-K/D-2|
|Mars Pathfinder||4 December 1996||NASA
|Lander||Successful||Landed at 19.13°N 33.22°W on 4 July 1997, Last contact on 27 September 1997||Delta II 7925|
|Sojourner||4 December 1996||NASA
|Rover||Successful||The first rover on another planet, operated for 84 days||Delta II 7925|
|3 July 1998||ISAS
|Orbiter||Spacecraft failure||Ran out of fuel before reaching Mars||M-V|
|Mars Climate Orbiter||11 December 1998||NASA
|Orbiter||Spacecraft failure||Approached Mars too closely during orbit insertion attempt due to a software interface bug involving different units for impulse and burned up in the atmosphere||Delta II 7425|
|Mars Polar Lander||3 January 1999||NASA
|Lander||Spacecraft failure||Failed to land||Delta II 7425|
|Deep Space 2||3 January 1999||NASA
|Penetrator||Spacecraft failure||Deployed from MPL, no data returned||Delta II 7425|
|Mars Odyssey||7 April 2001||NASA
|Orbiter||Operational||Expected to remain operational until 2025.||Delta II 7925|
|Mars Express||2 June 2003||ESA
|Orbiter||Operational||Enough fuel to remain operational until 2026.||Soyuz-FG/Fregat|
|Beagle 2||2 June 2003||ESA||Lander||Lander failure||No communications received after release from Mars Express. Orbital images of landing site suggest a successful landing, but two solar panels failed to deploy, obstructing its communications.||Soyuz-FG/Fregat|
|10 June 2003||NASA
|Rover||Successful||Landed on 4 January 2004.
Operated for 2208 sols
|Delta II 7925|
|8 July 2003||NASA
|Rover||Successful||Landed on 25 January 2004.
Operated for 5351 sols
|Delta II 7925H|
|Rosetta||2 March 2004||ESA
|Gravity assist||Successful||Flyby in February 2007 en route to 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko||Ariane 5G+|
|Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter||12 August 2005||NASA
|Orbiter||Operational||Entered orbit on 10 March 2006||Atlas V 401|
|Phoenix||4 August 2007||NASA
|Lander||Successful||Landed on 25 May 2008.
End of mission 2 November 2008
|Delta II 7925|
|Dawn||27 September 2007||NASA
|Gravity assist||Successful||Flyby in February 2009 en route to 4 Vesta and Ceres||Delta II 7925H|
|Fobos-Grunt||8 November 2011||Roskosmos
|Spacecraft failure||Never left LEO (intended to depart under own power)||Zenit-2M|
|Yinghuo-1||8 November 2011||CNSA
Lost with Fobos-Grunt
|To have been deployed by Fobos-Grunt||Zenit-2M|
(Mars Science Laboratory)
|26 November 2011||NASA
|Rover||Operational||Landed on 6 August 2012||Atlas V 541|
|Mars Orbiter Mission
|5 November 2013||ISRO
|Orbiter||Operational||Entered orbit on 24 September 2014. Mission extended till 2020.||PSLV-XL|
|MAVEN||18 November 2013||NASA
|Orbiter||Operational||Orbit insertion on 22 September 2014||Atlas V 401|
|ExoMars Trace Gas Orbiter||14 March 2016||ESA/Roscosmos
European Union/ Russia
|Orbiter||Operational||Entered orbit on 19 October 2016||Proton-M/Briz-M|
|Schiaparelli EDM lander||14 March 2016||ESA
|Lander||Spacecraft failure||Carried by the ExoMars Trace Gas Orbiter. Although the lander crashed, engineering data on the first five minutes of entry was successfully retrieved.||Proton-M/Briz-M|
|InSight||5 May 2018||NASA
|Lander||Operational||Landed on 26 November 2018.||Atlas V 401|
|MarCO||5 May 2018||NASA
|Two CubeSats flyby supporting InSight||Successful||Flyby 26 November 2018. Last contact Feb 2019||Atlas V 401|
|Emirates Mars Mission||19 July 2020||MBRSC
United Arab Emirates
|Orbiter||En route||Arrives February 2021.||H-IIA|
|Tianwen-1 orbiter||23 July 2020||CNSA
|Orbiter||En route||Proposed orbit insertion: 11-24 February 2021||Long March 5|
|Tianwen-1 lander/rover||23 July 2020||CNSA
|Lander/rover||En route||Proposed landing: 23 April 2021||Long March 5|
|Tianwen-1 deployable camera||23 July 2020||CNSA
|Imager (flyby)||Successful||Photographed the Tianwen-1 spacecraft while en route to Mars. Will flyby mars. Deployed from Tianwen-1||Long March 5|
|Perseverance rover||30 July 2020||NASA
|Rover||En route||Proposed landing: 18 February 2021||Atlas V 541|
|Ingenuity helicopter||30 July 2020||NASA
|Helicopter||En route||Proposed landing: 18 February 2021 To be deployed from the Perseverance rover.||Atlas V 541|
Mars landing locations
There are a number of derelict orbiters around Mars whose location is not known precisely; there is a proposal to search for small moons, dust rings, and old orbiters with the Optical Navigation Camera on the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter.  There should be 8 derelict Mars orbiters barring unforeseen events if they have not decayed as of 2016. One example is Mariner 9, which entered Mars orbit in 1971 and is expected to remain in orbit until approximately 2022, when the spacecraft is projected to enter the Martian atmosphere and either burn up or crash into the planet's surface. The Viking 1 orbiter is predicted not to decay until at least 2019. One orbiter that is confirmed to have undergone Mars atmospheric entry is Mars Climate Orbiter.
|Mars Terahertz Microsatellite||NICT, ISSL
|Mars Orbiter Mission 2 (Mangalyaan 2)||ISRO
|2024||Orbiter and possibly a lander|
|Martian Moons Exploration (MMX)||JAXA
|2023||Flyby En route to 16 Psyche|
|Jupiter Icy Moons Explorer||ESA
|2025||Flyby En route to Jupiter|
|2022||Rover and aircraft|
|Next Mars Orbiter (NeMO)||NASA
|2022||Telecomm orbiter (originally proposed for 2022)|
|Starship Demo mission||SpaceX
|Biological Oxidant and Life Detection (BOLD)||Washington State University
|2022||Landing probes and Impactors|
|2024||Orbiter, lander, ascent vehicle, sample-return|
|Starship Crewed mission||SpaceX
|2024 or 2026||Lander, cargo, crew|
|Deimos and Phobos Interior Explorer (DePhine)||ESA
|2030||Orbiter and moon flybys|
|Mars Geyser Hopper||NASA
|Mars Micro Orbiter (MMO)||NASA
|Phobos And Deimos & Mars Environment||NASA
|Mars Exploration Ice Mapper||NASA
Canadian Space Agency
Missions to the moons of Mars
Missions dedicated to explore the two moons of Mars, Phobos and Deimos. Many missions to Mars have also included dedicated observations of the Moons, while this section is about missions focused solely on them. There have been three unsuccessful dedicated missions and many proposals. Because of the proximity of the Mars moons to Mars, any mission to them may also be considered a mission to Mars from some perspectives.
There have been at least three proposals in the United States Discovery Program, including PADME, PANDORA, and MERLIN. The ESA has also considered a sample return mission, one of the latest known as Martian Moon Sample Return or MMSR, and it may use heritage from an asteroid sample return mission.
|Aladdin||Phobos and Deimos|||
|DePhine||Phobos and Deimos|||
|Hall||Phobos and Deimos|||
|M-PADS||Phobos and Deimos|||
|Merlin||Phobos and Deimos|||
|MMSR (2011 ver.)||Phobos or Deimos|||
|OSRIS-REx 2||Phobos or Deimos|||
|Pandora||Phobos and Deimos|||
|PADME||Phobos and Deimos|||
In Japan, the Institute of Space and Astronautical Science (ISAS) is developing a sample return mission to Phobos, due to launch in 2024. This mission is called Martian Moons Exploration (MMX) and is proposed as a flagship Strategic Large Mission. MMX will build on the expertise the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) would gain through the Hayabusa2 and SLIM missions. As of January 2018, MMX is set for launch in September 2024.
|Martian Moons Exploration (MMX)||Phobos and Deimos|||
Three missions to land on Phobos have been launched; the Phobos program in the late 1980s saw the launch of Fobos 1 and Fobos 2, while the Fobos-Grunt sample return mission was launched in 2011. None of these missions were successful: Fobos 1 failed en route to Mars, Fobos 2 failed shortly before landing, and Fobos-Grunt never left low Earth orbit.
Missions sent to the Martian system have returned data on Phobos and Deimos and missions specifically dedicated to the moons are a subset of missions Mars that often include dedicated goals to acquire data about these moons. An example of this is the imaging campaigns by Mars Express of the Mars moons.
Osiris-Rex 2 was a proposal to make OR a double mission, with the other one collecting samples from the two Mars moons. In 2012, it was stated that this mission would be the both quickest and least expensive way to get samples from the Moons.
- Mars 4NM and Mars 5NM – projects intended by the Soviet Union for heavy Marsokhod (in 1973 according to initial plan of 1970) and Mars sample return (planned for 1975). The missions were to be launched on the failed N1 rocket.
- Mars 5M (Mars-79) – double-launching Soviet sample return mission planned to 1979 but cancelled due to complexity and technical problems
- Voyager-Mars – USA, 1970s – Two orbiters and two landers, launched by a single Saturn V rocket.
- Vesta – the multiaimed Soviet mission, developed in cooperation with European countries for realisation in 1991–1994 but canceled due to the Soviet Union disbanding, included the flyby of Mars with delivering the aerostat and small landers or penetrators followed by flybys of 1 Ceres or 4 Vesta and some other asteroids with impact of penetrator on the one of them.
- Mars Aerostat – Russian/French balloon part for cancelled Vesta mission and then for failed Mars 96 mission, originally planned for the 1992 launch window, postponed to 1994 and then to 1996 before being cancelled.
- Mars Together, combined U.S. and Russian mission study in the 1990s. To be launched by a Molinya with possible U.S. orbiter or lander.
- Mars Environmental Survey – set of 16 landers planned for 1999–2009
- Mars-98 – Russian mission including an orbiter, lander, and rover, planned for 1998 launch opportunity as repeat of failured Mars 96 mission and cancelled due to lack of funding
- Mars Surveyor 2001 Lander – October 2001 – Mars lander (refurbished, became Phoenix lander)
- Kitty Hawk – Mars airplane micromission, proposed for 17 December 2003, the centennial of the Wright brothers' first flight. Its funding was eventually given to the 2003 Mars Network project.
- NetLander – 2007 or 2009 – Mars netlanders
- Beagle 3 – 2009 British lander mission meant to search for life, past or present.
- Mars Telecommunications Orbiter – September 2009 – Mars orbiter for telecommunications
- Sky-Sailor – 2014 – Plane developed by Switzerland to take detailed pictures of Mars surface
- Mars Astrobiology Explorer-Cacher – 2018 rover concept, cancelled due to budget cuts in 2011. Sample cache goal later moved to Mars 2020 rover.
- Red Dragon – Derivative of a Dragon 2 capsule by SpaceX, designed to land by aerobraking and retropropulsion. Planned for 2018, then 2020. Canceled in favor of the Starship system.
- Tumbleweed rover, wind-propelled sphere
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Mars 3 was the first spacecraft to make a successful soft landing on Mars.
Pyle, Rod (2012). Destination Mars. Prometheus Books. pp. 73–78. ISBN 978-1-61614-589-7.
It was the first spacecraft to enter orbit around another world.
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