Missions to Mars

Successful and Unsuccessful Missions to Mars 1960-1996

[Data from NASA]
Date
Name
Country
Spacecraft Type
Comments
Oct. 10, 1960
Mars 1960A
USSR
Probe
Did not reach Earth-orbit.
Oct. 14, 1960
Mars 1960B
USSR
Probe
Did not reach Earth-orbit.
Oct. 24, 1962
Mars 1962A
USSR
Flyby
Did not escape Earth-orbit.
Nov. 1, 1962
Mars 1
USSR
Flyby
Failed due to communications problem.
Nov. 4, 1962
Mars 1962B
USSR
Lander
Did not leave Earth-orbit.
Nov. 5, 1962
Mariner 3
USA
Flyby
Was unsuccessful in its flyby attempt.
Nov. 28, 1964 - Dec. 20, 1967
Mariner 4
USA
Flyby
Reached Mars on July 14, 1965 and came to within 9920 km of the surface. Returned 22 surface photos and compiled data on the atmosphere.
Nov. 30, 1964
Zond 2
USSR
Flyby
Contact was lost when vehicle reached Mars.
Feb. 24, 1969
Mariner 6
USA
Flyby
Reached Mars July 31, 1969 and came to within 3437 km of equatorial region. Returned numerous pictures and measurements.
Mar. 27, 1969
Mariner 7
USA
Flyby
Reached Mars Aug. 5, 1969 and came to within 3351 km of South Pole region. Took over 200 photos. Analysis revealed no ozone in the atmosphere.
May 8, 1971
Mariner 8
USA
Flyby
Crashed in the Atlantic during lift-off.
May 10, 1971
Kosmos 419
USSR
Probe
A lander was released from its orbiter but crashed into the Martian surface. The orbiter returned data until 1972.
May 19, 1971
Mars 2
USSR
Orbiter/Soft Lander
A lander was released from its orbiter but crashed into the Martian surface. The orbiter was still able to return data until 1972.
May 28, 1971
Mars 3
USSR
Orbiter/Soft Lander
Reached Mars December 2, 1971 and performed the first successful landing of a terrestrial craft on Mars. Sent 20 seconds of video data to the orbiter then failed. Discovered the amount of uranium and thorium in the soil was similar to the amount found on Earth. The orbiter returned data until August 1972.
May 30, 1971-2
Mariner 9
USA
Orbiter
Reached Mars Nov. 3, 1971 and went into orbit Nov. 24 for about one year. This was the first US spacecraft to orbit about a planet other than the Moon. Took over 7000 photos, covering 9O% of the surface. Captured images of four giant volcanoes and led to the discovery of river- and canal-like lines on the surface.
July 21, 1973
Mars 4
USSR
Orbiter
Reached Mars Feb. 1974 but was unable to orbit. Returned data and images.
July 25, 1973
Mars 5
USSR
Orbiter
Entered orbit Feb. 12, 1974 and quit unexpectedly after two weeks. However, it did return data for future missions.
Aug. 5, 1973
Mars 6
USSR
Orbiter/Soft Lander
Achieved orbit around Mars on Mar. 12, 1974. Lander was launched and returned data on its way to the surface but crashed while trying to land.
Aug. 9, 1973
Mars 7
USSR
Orbiter/Soft Lander
Attempted to orbit Mars but failed. Lander was deployed but missed Mars.
Aug. 20, 1975 - Aug. 7, 1980
Viking 1
USA
Orbiter/Lander
Entered into orbit about Mars on June 19, 1976. Lander reached the surface July 20, 1976 and provided images of the terrain, monitored the surface and searched for micro-organisms. The Lander continued to collect and send data from Mars for more than six years. During this time the orbiter continued to map the surface of Mars.
Sept. 9, 1975 - July 25, 1978
Viking 2
USA
Orbiter/Lander
Entered into orbit about Mars on July 24, 1976. Lander reached the surface Aug. 7, 1976 and provided images of the terrain, monitored the weather and searched for micro-organisms. The orbiter continued to map the surface. Scientists are still processing Viking data in the 1990s.
July 7, 1988
Phobos 1
USSR
Orbiter/Lander
Sent to investigate Mars' moon, Phobos, but contact was lost on September 14, 1988.
July 12, 1988
Phobos 2
USSR
Flyby/Lander
Entered into orbit about Mars on Jan. 30, 1989 for six weeks. Was unable to reach Phobos and deploy its lander.
Sept. 25, 1992
Mars Observer
USA
Orbiter
Communications were lost before Mars Observer entered into orbit around Mars.
Nov. 1996
Mars Global Surveyor
USA
Orbiter
Will arrive in August 1997.
Dec. 2, 1996
Mars Pathfinder
USA
Lander
Spacecraft landed July 4, 1997 on the planet surface and deployed a small, robot, surface rover.
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