homeschool mars ideas

We’re going to the red planet! All the past, present, and future missions to Mars

We’re going to the red planet! All the past, present, and future missions to Mars

Digital Trends

How To
The Best Deals before Prime Day 2019

Español
Now Reading: We’re going to the red planet! All the past, present, and future missions to Mars

Ed Oswald Ed Oswald
@JustEdsWords
POSTED ON
03.12.19 – 1:26PM PST
EMERGING TECH
We’re going to the red planet! All the past, present, and future missions to Mars

NASA
SpaceX founder Elon Musk says travel to Mars is within reach, with the possibility of having 1 million people living on Mars within 100 years. SpaceX isn’t alone in working toward reaching Mars, however. In fact, there are quite a number of missions, both manned and unmanned, that are currently planned or under proposal from government space organizations and private space flight companies across the globe.

Exploration of Mars and eventual human travel to it are nothing new. While manned missions have remained financial and logistical near-impossibilities, unmanned missions began in 1960. There have been 56 Mars missions so far, of which 26 have been successful — a testament to the difficulty in reaching the red planet.

As it stands right now, there is one rover currently operational, with another en route and due to arrive late this year (as of the writing of this story, Opportunity is stuck in a massive dust storm with low chances for survival). Orbiting Mars are six satellites, providing massive amounts of data on our dusty neighbor.

It doesn’t end there. Many more missions are planned for the 2020, 2022, and 2024 launch windows, and there are proposals to put humans on Mars by the 2030s.

Operational and en route missions
This portion of the list includes the world’s most notable past missions, most of which are still in operation.

MARS ODYSSEY, 2001

NASA
Named after the iconic sci-fi novel and film 2001: A Space Odyssey, Mars Odyssey is a NASA orbital satellite that is currently about 2,400 miles above Mars’ surface. It launched on April 7, 2001, and holds the record as the longest-operating spacecraft orbiting Mars. Mars Odyssey’s mission was to find proof of past or present water on Mars, using spectrometers and a thermal imager to map out the distribution of water, which was successfully proven on July 21, 2008, by the Phoenix lander. Mars Odyssey also serves as a communications relay between Earth and martian rovers, the Mars Science Lab, and the Phoenix lander. It is projected to remain in operation until 2025.

MARS EXPRESS, 2003

ESA
Mars Express was launched along with the Beagle 2 lander by the European Space Agency on June 2, 2003. While Beagle 2 suffered a lander failure, the Mars Express satellite has remained in successful communication with Earth. Mars Express was launched with the intent of surveying Mars’ surface using high-resolution camera, radars, and spectrometers. Thus far, Mars Express has discovered water ice and carbon dioxide ice in Mars’ southern ice cap, along with an area of liquid water underneath, and has provided better detail of the elemental and chemical makeup of the planet’s surface and atmosphere. The project has also resulted in a topographical map of Mars, high-res surface images, and flybys of Mars’ moon, Phobos. This data has been incredibly valuable, and has earned the craft several end-date extensions. It’s currently scheduled to remain in operation until the end of 2026.

MARS SPIRIT AND OPPORTUNITY, 2003
future mars missions opportunity spirit rover
The Spirit and Opportunity rovers arguably represent one of the biggest success stories of the current NASA space program. Launched separately in summer 2003, the pair of rovers arrived on the red planet after about six months. Initially, the plan was for a 90-day mission to study the geology and atmosphere of Mars. But the two rovers didn’t quit: Spirit would continue to transmit until March 2010, and Opportunity until June 2018! The pair of rovers are widely credited with providing the first solid “ground truth’ that at one time” Mars was much wetter than it is today.

MARS RECONNAISSANCE ORBITER, 2005

NASA
On August 12, 2005, NASA launched the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO), which entered Mars’ orbit on March 10, 2006. The MRO has been observing the landscape and has made numerous high-profile discoveries, including the recent observance of flowing saltwater on the surface and subsurface of the planet. MRO was also used to find a landing zone for the Phoenix Lander, and acts as a relay for communications between active rovers and Earth.

CURIOSITY ROVER, 2011

NASA
Like nearly all other unmanned craft listed here, NASA’s Curiosity was made to study the landscape and climate of Mars, comprising the rover portion of NASA’s Mars Science Laboratory (MSL). Specifically, Curiosity is looking for potential evidence of microbial life-sustaining conditions — either past or present — and assessing Mars’ habitability ahead of human contact. It’s most notable find so far is the discovery of organic molecules on the planet’s surface in 2018. The rover is equipped with a vast array of instruments and cameras, and has been operational on Mars since 2012.

MANGALYAAN (MARS ORBITER MISSION), 2013

The Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) launched its first interplanetary mission on November 5, 2013. Dubbed “Mangalyaan,” the craft is an orbiter that has primarily been used as a proof of concept for ISRO’s interplanetary tech capabilities, testing various flight and communications systems, and providing telemetry data. Mangalyaan is also outfitted with a small suite of research instruments designed to capture atmospheric data. It is also the cheapest Mars mission to date, costing only $73 million U.S.

MAVEN, 2013

The Mars Atmosphere and Volatile Evolution Mission (MAVEN) is currently searching for explanations for how and why Mars’ water and atmosphere have been slowly deteriorating and escaping. After entering orbit in 2014, it was quickly able to confirm that Mars’ atmosphere was escaping into space, and further observations found the planet’s magnetic field is more like a tail, disrupted by the solar wind. This could explain the Red Planet’s loss of atmosphere, but scientists are still investigating.

EXOMARS TRACE GAS ORBITER, 2016

Launched in 2016, ExoMars is the first in a series of joint Mars missions through a partnership between the European Space Agency and Russia’s Roscosmos. The mission actually included two probes, the ExoMars Trace Gas Orbiter (TGO) and the Schiaparelli EDM Lander, however the lander crashed on the Mars surface after being delivered by the TGO. Researchers hope to gain a better understanding of methane and other trace gases present in the martian atmosphere that could be evidence for possible biological activity.

INSIGHT LANDER, 2018

Launched in May 2018, with a successful landing in November of that year, the InSight Lander, short for ‘Interior Exploration using Seismic Investigations, Geodesy and Heat Transport,” aims to study the core of Mars and observe any possible seismic activity on the planet’s surface. It is hoped the data collected will lead to better understanding of how rocky planets such as Earth, Mars, Venus, and Mercury are formed. The current plans are for a two-month deployment phase upon landing, followed by nearly two years of observations as part of the initial mission.

RELATED ON DT
The Asteroid Mining Corporation
Emerging Tech
The U.K.’s biggest (and only) asteroid mining company has designs on…
mars 2020 rover wheels pia23269 hires
Emerging Tech
Ready to roll: Mars 2020 rover fitted with wheels ahead of mission next…

The Asteroid Mining Corporation
EMERGING TECH
The U.K.’s biggest (and only) asteroid mining company has designs on our skies
Is the founder and CEO of the U.K.’s Asteroid Mining Corporation going to be among the first people to strike it rich in space, or is he just chasing an ambitious but doomed mirage?
Posted 1 day ago — By Luke Dormehl
mars 2020 rover wheels pia23269 hires
Ready to roll: Mars 2020 rover fitted with wheels ahead of mission next year
The Mars 2020 rover is getting ready for its trip to the red planet next year. The latest step in readying the rover is installing its wheels and suspension system, which engineers at NASA have been doing this month.
2 days ago — By Georgina Torbet

bill nye talks about the planetary societys new solar sailing mission 20180201 ed markey
Bill Nye the Science Guy talks “solar sailing” and the new space race
If successful, The Planetary Society’s LightSail 2 will be a milestone in spaceflight, the first craft to raise its orbit around the planet using just the power of sunlight.
2 days ago — By Dyllan Furness

Motorola One Vision Review
Motorola’s excellent One Vision is cheap phone royalty
If Motorola’s mission with the One Vision was to make a dependable, capable smartphone at a price that’s affordable, then it’s definitely mission accomplished. Here’s our full review.
4 days ago — By Andy Boxall
nissans high tech ice cream truck removes the fumes from your order nissan
Nissan’s high-tech ice cream truck removes the fumes from your order
Nissan has given the traditional ice cream truck a modern makeover to create a cleaner, greener, high-tech alternative that also gives aging electric-vehicle batteries a new life.
3 days ago — By Trevor Mogg

Walmart
Walmart using A.I.-powered cameras to spot dodgy shoppers at self-checkouts
Walmart is using computer vision technology at some of its stores in an effort to spot sneaky behavior at its self-checkout counters. The A.I.-powered cameras automatically identify any dodgy activity and then alert staff.
3 days ago — By Trevor Mogg

space farming hormone astronaut on his knees
EMERGING TECH
Want to work in the stars? Here are six future space jobs you could hold
Ever dreamed of leaving Earth to work in the stars? Here’s a list of job titles that might sound like science fiction now, but almost certainly won’t a decade or two in the future.
Posted 1 day ago — By Luke Dormehl
blue origin be 7 test firing be7 fire
Blue Origin test fires the engine that could help it land on the moon
Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin has carried out a test firing of its BE-7 engine, the propulsion system which it hopes will help humankind to land on the moon for the first time since 1972.
3 days ago — By Luke Dormehl
astrobees cube robot tests iss059e038084 1
Hormone boosts could help astronauts from losing muscle on long space journeys
Reduced gravity conditions during space flight missions can cause extreme muscle loss. Special hormone treatments may be able to help. Here’s why that’s of growing importance for space travel.
2 days ago — By Luke Dormehl

starlink working sooner than you expect mem 3
SpaceX is on a hiring spree for its Starlink global internet project
After a string of delays, SpaceX’s Starlink project was finally launched last month. Now an analysis of data from SpaceX’s job listings shows the company is on a hiring tear, advertising for more and more positions for the project.
2 days ago — By Georgina Torbet

seti alien star array
You can help search for aliens with an open access release of SETI data
The Breakthrough Initiatives, a program to search for extraterrestrial intelligence, recently analyzed its first three years of radio telescope data. And all of the data collected is being made publicly available in an open data archive.
2 days ago — By Georgina Torbet
awesome tech you cant buy yet lumi keyboard feat
Awesome Tech You Can’t Buy Yet: Illuminated keyboards and a retro gaming console
Check out our roundup of the best new crowdfunding projects and product announcements that hit the web this week. You may not be able to buy this stuff yet, but it sure is fun to gawk!
1 day ago — By Will Nicol

tiny galaxy supermassive black hole a with big heart
Tiny galaxy has huge black hole at its center, gives clues to galactic evolution
A Hubble image shows a tiny galaxy which could hold the clue to unraveling a longstanding question about the evolution of galaxies. Despite its small size, it hosts a feature found in much larger galaxies — a supermassive black hole.
23 hours ago — By Georgina Torbet

antlia 2 dark matter milky way collision image 6605e 1
Dark matter galaxy crashed into the Milky Way, causing the ripples in its disk
New research suggests hundreds of million of years ago, the Milky Way collided with Antlia 2, a nearby dwarf galaxy dominated by dark matter. The collision caused ripples in the disk of gas around the Milky Way which we still observe today.
23 hours ago — By Georgina Torbet
1 of 3
MUST READS
Best Movies on Netflix Best Shows on Hulu Best Movies on Hulu Best Shows on Amazon Prime Best iPhone Games Best Android Games Everything You Need to Know About 5G Fortnite: Battle Royale Guides
POPULAR PRODUCTS
Best Products Best TVs Best Laptops Best Headphones Best Smartphones Best Drones Best PS4 Games Samsung Galaxy Fold Review Beats Powerbeats Pro Review Apple iPad Air Review iPhone XS Review iPhone XS Max Review iPhone XR Review Galaxy S10 Review
WHO WE ARE
About Advertise Contact Us Privacy Policy Terms of Use Corrections Careers DT Español The Manual The Best Deals before Prime Day 2019 Podcasts Giveaways
ADD US TO YOUR SOCIAL CHANNELS
Facebook Twitter Instagram Linkedin Pinterest YouTube RSS Home
Digital Trends Digital Trends helps readers keep tabs on the fast-paced world of tech with all the latest news, fun product reviews, insightful editorials, and one-of-a-kind sneak peeks.

Upgrade your lifestyle

Digital Trends may earn a commission when you buy through links on our site.
SUBSCRIBE TO OUR NEWSLETTER Copyright ©2019 Designtechnica Corporation. All rights reserved.

Elon Musk Facts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *