Review Article Open Access

NASA’s Exploration Missions to the Red Planet

Santosh Kosambe1
  • 1 Independent Researcher, India

Abstract

The exploration missions to the red planet were started in 1960 by the Soviet Union, since then the planet has gain attention of all the scientists and explorers worldwide. Several exploration missions have been launched by the space organizations and nations to explore the Martian surface. NASA launched its first exploration mission to Mars in 1964 in the form of Mariner 3. After that, the series of robotic exploration missions have been launched to understand the red planet intensely. The Mars Exploration Program (MEP) was also formed in 1993 to explore the possibilities of the presence of life, climate and natural resources on Mars. The MEP uses the spacecraft, orbiters, landers and rovers to explore the Martian soil. As of present, NASA has launched twenty-five missions to the red planet out of which only five missions were unsuccessful. Some of the significant discoveries have been made in recent years with missions such as Pathfinder, Spirit, Opportunity, Curiosity, MAVEN and InSight. Currently, NASA is making plans to send more robotic explorers on the Martian soil in the upcoming years to make more discoveries and gain scientific information. These robotic missions are the first steps towards the human-crewed missions to Mars. The present paper provides a quick overview of NASA’s past, present and future robotic exploration missions to the red planet.

Journal of Aircraft and Spacecraft Technology
Volume 3 No. 1, 2019, 154-171

DOI: https://doi.org/10.3844/jastsp.2019.154.171

Submitted On: 24 May 2019 Published On: 6 July 2019

How to Cite: Kosambe, S. (2019). NASA’s Exploration Missions to the Red Planet. Journal of Aircraft and Spacecraft Technology, 3(1), 154-171. https://doi.org/10.3844/jastsp.2019.154.171

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Keywords

  • NASA
  • Red Planet
  • Mars Exploration
  • Martian
  • Rover
  • Lander