Humankind’s Mars Missions : Timeline !!!

Dear Friends,


We humans since ancient times have been fascinated by the Red Planet, our nearest neighboring planet in Space, the Planet Mars.


Our fascination for Mars and the urge to explore, inhabit and colonize the closest Rocky Planet has led to numerous Mars Missions since the 20th Century along with the dawn of the “Age of Human Space Exploration” since early 1960s.

Here goes a chronological order of all Mars Missions till now along with their Launch Dates, Type of Mission and Results


Mars 1M No.1
10 October 1960 Flyby Launch failure
Mars 1M No.2
14 October 1960 Flyby Launch failure
Mars 2MV-4 No.1
24 October 1962 Flyby Broke up shortly after launch
Mars 1
1 November 1962 Flyby Some data collected, but lost contact before reaching Mars, flyby at approx. 193,000 km
Mars 2MV-3 No.1
4 November 1962 Lander Failed to leave Earth’s orbit
Mariner 3
5 November 1964 Flyby Failure during launch ruined trajectory
Mariner 4
28 November 1964 Flyby Success (21 images returned)
Zond 2
30 November 1964 Flyby Communication lost three months before reaching Mars
Mariner 6
25 February 1969 Flyby Success
Mariner 7
27 March 1969 Flyby Success
Mars 2M No.521
27 March 1969 Orbiter Launch failure
Mars 2M No.522
2 April 1969 Orbiter Launch failure
Mariner 8
8 May 1971 Orbiter Launch failure
Kosmos 419
10 May 1971 Orbiter Launch failure
Mariner 9
30 May 1971 Orbiter Success (first successful orbit)
Mars 2
19 May 1971 Orbiter Success Lander, rover Crashed on surface of Mars
Mars 3
28 May 1971 Orbiter Success Lander, rover Partial success. First successful landing; landed softly but ceased transmission within 15 seconds
Mars 4
21 July 1973 Orbiter Could not enter orbit, made a close flyby
Mars 5
25 July 1973 Orbiter Partial success. Entered orbit and returned data, but failed within 9 days
Mars 6
5 August 1973 Lander Partial success. Data returned during descent but not after landing on Mars
Mars 7
9 August 1973 Lander Landing probe separated prematurely; entered heliocentric orbit
Viking 1
20 August 1975 Orbiter Success Lander Success
Viking 2
9 September 1975 Orbiter Success Lander Success
Phobos 1
7 July 1988 Orbiter Contact lost while en route to Mars
Lander Not deployed
Phobos 2
12 July 1988 Orbiter Partial success: entered orbit and returned some data. Contact lost just before deployment of landers. Landers Not deployed
Mars Observer
25 September 1992 Orbiter Lost contact just before arrival
Mars Global Surveyor
7 November 1996 Orbiter Success
Mars 96
16 November 1996 Orbiter, lander, penetrator Launch failure
Mars Pathfinder
4 December 1996 Lander, rover Success
Nozomi (Planet-B)
3 July 1998 Orbiter Complications while en route; Never entered orbit
Mars Climate Orbiter
11 December 1998 Orbiter Crashed on surface due to metric-imperial mix-up
Mars Polar Lander
3 January 1999 Lander Crash-landed on surface due to improper hardware testing
Deep Space 2 (DS2)
Hard landers
2001 Mars Odyssey
7 April 2001 Currently operational Orbiter Success
Mars Express
2 June 2003 Currently operational Orbiter Success
Beagle 2
6 February 2004 Lander Landing failure; fate unknown.
MER-A Spirit
10 June 2003 Rover Success
MER-B Opportunity
7 July 2003 Currently operational Rover Success
2 March 2004 Currently operational Gravity assist en route to comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko Success
Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter
12 August 2005 Currently operational Orbiter Success
4 August 2007 Lander Success
27 September 2007 Currently operational Gravity assist to Vesta
8 November 2011 Phobos lander, sample return Failed to leave Earth orbit.Fell back to Earth.
8 November 2011 Orbiter
MSL Curiosity
26 November 2011 Currently operational Rover Success


However the long list of Missions above is just a start as we gear up for more exciting times with cutting edge technology and latest devices and instruments and march ahead towards Humankind’s long cherished dream of Supremacy over Mars.

Some of the Future Mars Missions that are being planned now along with their Launch dates, Elements and Objectives are as follows:

28 October 2013
Orbiter Research on Mars atmosphere and water

November 2013 Orbiter Explore Mars’ climate history.

March 2016 Lander, drill Study interior structure of Mars.

2016 Orbiter, lander Trace Gas Orbiter to deliver a lander.
Russian lander to deploy ExoMars rover

Under study

Mars One Demo
January 2016 Lander The first demonstration is proposed for launch in 2016.

Mars One ComSat
2016 Orbiter Communications Satellite.

Mars Geyser Hopper
2016 Lander Will have the ability to fly or “hop” at least twice from its landed location to reposition itself close to a CO2 geyser site.

MetNet precursor
2014 or later
Impact lander Precursor for Multi-lander network.

after precursor
Multi-lander network Simultaneous meteorological measurements at multiple locations.

Inspiration Mars Foundation

5 January 2018 Manned flyby Private mission to send a couple around Mars on a free return trajectory, without landing.

Red Dragon
2018 Lander Falcon Heavy rocket with a Dragon capsule; would look for biosignatures.

Mars One Rover
2018 Rover Rover to select location of colony.

Mars 2020 rover mission
2020 Rover
Based on the Curiosity rover.

Icebreaker Life
2018 or 2020 Stationary lander Based on the 2008 Phoenix lander, would perform astrobiology tests on sub-surface ice

Mars One
2021 6 landers, rover Two living units, two life support units and two supply units, with a second rover.

2022 3 landers Meteorological network concept.

2022 Lander and ascent stage Mars moon sample return mission.

Mars One
2022 Manned mission Colony.

Mars One “Team Two”
2025 Manned mission Four more colonists.

2020s Orbiter, lander Would study geology and atmosphere.

2020s Orbiter, lander, ascent stage Single launch Mars sample return.
– 6 landers The Biological Oxidant and Life Detection would perform astrobiology tests on sub-surface soil.



The team of Mangal Ho will also be unveiling it’s whacky comedy movie based on the backdrop of a Mars Mission in 2017. More about our mission Mangal Ho and many more interesting pictures, videos and news about other Space Missions in our subsequent posts. Meanwhile you can let us know which Planet of the Solar System fascinates you the most by Voting here :

Cheers !!!

Ascent Films Private Limited (AFPL)


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