Richmond Times-Dispatch Weekend

EXPLORATIO­N

- Sources: NASA, National Geographic, space.com, Encycloped­ia Britannica PHOTOS BY NASA AND GETTY IMAGES KIRA RIDER/TIMES-DISPATCH

Since the 1960s, space programs from all over the world have launched missions to Mars, from flybys and orbiters to rovers on the surface.

Two rovers and one lander are currently exploring the Martian surface. Eight orbiters are studying the planet from above.

Here are some of the successful missions:

* Current mission

1964 Mariner 4 (flyby)

Collected the first closeup photograph­s of Mars impact craters

1969

Mariner 6 & 7 (flyby) Analyzed Martian atmosphere and surface

1971

Mariner 9 (flyby) Mariner 9 compiled a mosaic of the Martian surface. It also took the first close-up photos of the two Martian moons.

1975 Viking 1 & 2 (orbiter and lander)

NASA’s Viking Project was the first U.S. mission to land a spacecraft safely on the surface of Mars and return images of the surface.

1996

Pathfinder (rover), Mars Global Surveyor (orbiter)

2001 *Mars Odyssey (orbiter)

NASA’s longest-lasting spacecraft at Mars

2003

Spirit & Opportunit­y (rovers), *Mars Express (orbiter)

2005

*Mars Reconnaiss­ance Orbiter (orbiter)

2007

Phoenix Scout (lander)

2011

*Curiosity (rover)

2013

*MAVEN (orbiter)

2016 *ExoMars (orbiter/ lander)

The orbiter had a successful insertion, but the demonstrat­ion module lander was lost on touchdown.

2018

*InSight (lander)

2020-2021

*Perseveran­ce (rover)

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