Data from Wikipedia and NASA (C)


Mars is the fourth planet of the solar system in order of distance from the Sun. Some its orbital parameters, which the inclination of the spin axis and the duration of the day, render it enough similar to the Earth; with the exception of this last one, however, Mars has a rarefied atmosphere, a superficial medium temperatures more lowlands and a dimensions reduced (its diameter is only the half of that earthling).


Mars, after Venus, is the planet more easy observable from the Earth, because of the great relative brightness and the characteristic red color. For this reason the ancient populations associated it to the image of Ares/Marte, God of the fire and the war. It was on ending of XVIII century, however, than careful observations they concurred the discovery of the two natural satellites, Phobos and Deimos, asteroids probably captured from the gravity of the planet. The existence of such satellites had been postulated for a long time, a lot that beyond a century ago by and means first Jonathan Swift: he cited some approximated orbital data in his “Travels of Gulliver2. In the same period a wrong translation of the jobs of Schiaparelli, an Italian astronomer, carried the scientific world to believe that on Mars there were artificial channels, while effectively the scientist had only spoken about large furrows on the surface. The expectations of the great public came disregarded when, in 1965, the probe Mariner 4 caught up for the first time the planet, not finding signs of constructions. The first landing of automatic probes happened eleven years after, with the missions Viking I and II, but they did not come found traces of life or organic compounds in surface. At ending of the past century Mars has been newly goal of numerous probes, European and Americans, that they have carried to a meaningful improvement of our acquaintances on the planet.

Observations from Earth

Observation from Earth Because of the orbital period the planet turns out in opposition (and therefore easy observable) only every two years approximately. While because of the orbital eccentricity its relative distance varied to every opposition determining small and great oppositions, with a diameter appearing from 13,5 to 25 second ones of arc. The Mars observation is tied closely to the conditions of osservability of the planet, that is based on the type of opposition: if apheliacal or perielical; the strong variation of diameter in fact concurs different observative abilities. In the best conditions (the maximum diameter, the maximum height from the horizon, conditions weather etc.) the planet show clearly, with a telescope of 200 milimeter, the icecaps, various superficial details, and even the clouds in suspension. Periodically the surface is interested from intense phenomena of sandstorms because of the termobariche variations of the atmosphere. Various from the Earth, these phenomena interest totally the planet in its globality, raising powder and hiding the superficial vision. In this case for entire weeks it is not possible with the telescope to find some detail. The Mars icecaps show obvious variations age. Dependent from the season, can be observed a narrowing or an expansion of the iced structure. Through opportune techniques it is possible to execute measures of the regression and to assess its variation numerically. Often is possible to observe cloudy structures. Many of they have a various origin, some are produced from the variations of temperature for starting of the day or the night, while others are typical clouds of some regions like peaks of caldere volcanic (Olimpus Mount) or depressions (river basin of Hellas). Some of these phenomena dissolve in few hours.

Orbital parameters

Orbital parameters Mars orbit around the Sun to a medium distance of approximately 228 million km (1,52 astronomical units); because of the discreet eccentricity of its orbit, equal to 0,09336, its distance from the Earth to the opposition can oscillate between approximately 100 and approximately 56 million km. The period of revolution of the planet is equal to 686,979 land days; the plan of the orbit is approximately 1,85° from that one of the ecliptic. Mars has a mass equal to 11% of that earthling; its equatorial radius measures 3393 km. The Mars mass is equal to 0,107 times that earthling, and its volume is equal to 0,150 times that one of the Earth. The equatorial diameter of the planet is 6787 km (with a polar crushing of 1% approximately) and its medium density is 3,95 times that one of the water. The Martian rotation axis is tilted of 25° 11', while its period of rotation around the axis is of 24 h 37 min 25 s: both values are similar to the correspondents earth’s parameters.


The Martian atmosphere is made up mainly of carbon dioxide (95%), nitrogen (2.7%), argon (1.6%), watery vapor, oxygen and carbon monoxide. The medium atmospheric pressure is of 7 millibars. They are present atmospheric perturbations as sandstorms (that they wrap also the entire planet and they last months), that gives place to phenomena of erosion of cliffs. The Mars atmosphere, because of the low gravity of the planet, is extremely rarefied and completely lacking in the lighter gases; the pressure found from the automatic probes sended on the planet is approximately 7-9 hPa in the deeper depressions (the medium pressure of the earth’s atmosphere, for comparison, is of 1015 hPa). Previous observations of the Mars transits in front of stars, carried out from Earth, already before space era had suggested them a similar situation. The atmosphere appears rich of powders that confer them a characteristic coloration orange-brown when observed from the surface of the planet; the data recorded from the Mars Exploration Rover indicate a medium dimension of particles suspended of approximately 1.5 micrometers. The ozone lack allows to the solar lethal ultraviolet radiations for every shape of known life, to catch up the surface. In March of the 2004 measurements of the orbiting probe European Mars Express have officially confirmed the presence of methane in the Martian atmosphere, with one volumetric concentration of approximately 10 parts for billion. The presence of a similar gas, highly unstable, renders necessary to still suppose the existence of a process of regeneration of methane in course or however happened in the past centuries; they have been assumed a volcanic, cometary or biological origin (with the presence of microorganisms metanogeni), but they lack confirmations experiences them to support of the theories. The scientists are currently trying to characterize some secondary members who could reveal the origin of methane, like the ethane, than on the Earth is generated from the oceans contextually to methane of biological origin, or dioxide of sulfur, associated to the volcanic activity. The aspect of the Martian atmosphere varied meaningfully with the cycle of the seasons; in the winter months, when the poles are constantly protected from the solar light, the skin temperature diminishes so that a quarter of the atmosphere condenses and throws down under iced carbon dioxide shape (dry ice); to increasing of the insolation the CO2 evaporates, generating strong winds directed towards the tropical regions of the planet, that they can run up 400 hour kilometers. A secondary effect of the atmospheric circulation is the transport of a great amount of powders and vapor of water, that they carry to the formation of particularly numerous and imposing cirri, photographed from the American earth module Opportunity.


The greater part of southern Mars hemisphere is constituted from a only, immense plateau that has many craters from impact. The Mars structure has similitude and remarkable differences with the Earth. The Mars surface does not seem enlivened from the energy that that characterized the Earth. In short, Mars does not have a crust subdivided in plates, and therefore the tettonic to sods of the land model turns out inapplicable to such planet. The volcanic activity has been much intense one, like testifies the imposing presence volcanos. The greater one of they is the Mount Olympus, than, with a base of 600 km and an elevation equal to approximately 24 km regarding surrounding plains, it is the greater volcano of the solar system. It is much similar one to volcanos to shield of the Hawaii islands, originated from the emission for longest times of very fluid lava. One of the reasons for which such great volcanic buildings are present is that, for the note, the Martian crust is lacking in mobility of the tettonic plates. This means that the 'hot points' from which exits the magma that strike in surface the magma always the same zones of the planet, without movements in the million course activity years (as instead it happens on the Earth). The reduced force of gravity has sure facilitated the lava, than on Mars it has a  weight like the water on the Earth. This has rendered possible a easier gone back from subground and a more width and massive spread on the surface. A gigantic canyon, along a 5000 km, wide 500 km and deep 5/6 km crosses the planet at the Equator and takes the name of Valles Marineris, and is the only structure vaguely similar to those observed in XIX century and considered then one of the greatest mistakes of modern astronomy. Its presence just constitutes a true breack on the surface of Mars, and its enormous structure, he is not clearly what can have produced it: sure not the erosion given from atmospheric agents or water. The structure of this canyon is such to make to seem very small the Grand Canyon American. The earth’s equivalent would be, dimensionally speaking, a canyon from London to Capetown, with depth of the order of the 10 km. This concurs to understand as such canyon it has a considerable importance for the Mars structure, and as it is not classifiable with famous cases on the Earth. The Mars surface appeared sin from the first explorations by means of automatic probes like complex and geologically diversified. While the south hemisphere is covered from great craters and it is risen above the topographical level of reference, the north hemisphere is poor of crater and is situated generally under such level (the atmospheric pressure corresponds for convention to the quote where is 6,1 hPa). The hemisphere south mainly is made up of a full of rocks crust much ancient, crossed from numerous natural channel long hundreds of km and wide some ten; locally they are plains of more recent origin. The north hemisphere has volcanic formations of remarkable dimensions, with solid flows of lava, numerous escarpments and canyon, and a generally diversified and varied landscape. The main region of the hemisphere, center of great volcanos, is Tharsis, an immense mill that is risen until 10 km on the surrounding land and that it gives origin to the greater part of the visible superficial fractures. The presence of iced water on Mars is widely testified in sediments of the polar regions, under the carbon dioxide caps and under the shape of permafrost, until 3 km of depth. The superficial layer of the planet is composed mainly from silicati and iron oxide, beyond to other compounds that can quickly damage eventual organic materials. The analyses of the automatic probes on the planet have confirmed that for long periods the planet was covered from rivers and that wide extended they were submergeeed, perhaps also for a billion of years. The analyses carried out from the probe Mars Express have revealed that the ice present to the South Pole if melted could cover the surface of the planet with nine meters of water. However the ice present to the South Pole is not sufficient to explain the extend erosions of the surface and therefore the scientists are searching others boxes of water or other phenomena that can explain the erosions of the surface. The medium skin temperature is approximately 210K (~-60°C), and varies with the season and the latitude from minims of 140K (~-130°C) in the polar regions, in winter, to 300K (~20°C) in the equatorial regions, in summer.


The nomenclature of the Martian surface is based on an original system deriving from the historical observations conduct from Schiaparelli and Lowell, which created maps of the planet in which they still defined  names (in use) of the main conformations. The Martian nomenclature, follows the maps created from the first observatories of the planet. Three first maps in which are defined the names of the surface of the planet are to 1877 Giovanni Virginio Schiaparelli, which it determined and it described the main conformations gaining the names from ancient people (Ausonia), gods, geographic places (Syrtis Major, Benacus Lacus), mitological (Cerberus, Gorgonium Sinus) etc. Other maps like those of Lowell (1894), Antoniadi (1909), De Mottoni (1957). Subsequently the nomenclature has been approved from the IAU and officially introduced in order to identify the Martian places.

Inner structure

The nucleus of iron and solfuro of iron of Mars, probably extends for a radius of approximately 1600-1700 km; it  is covered from a dense cape and a thick crust. A lot probably the nucleus is not liquid; consequently Mars does not has an appreciable magnetic field neither geologic activity. This involves the lack of defense that the Earth’s magnetosphere give to the ground of the planet from the cosmic particle with high energy, but the thing partially is mitigated from the greater distance from the Sun, that it renders less violent the consequences of its activity. Analogous to other known rocks planets, Mars has typically an inner structure composed from a central nucleus, from a cape and a superficial crust. The information in our possession are however fragmentary; a better understanding of the inner structure of the red planet could contribute to make clarity on the mechanisms that could have generated its atmosphere, on the possible presence of life on Mars and the planetary evolution of rocks planets in a generalized manner. Ill-fatedly, the lack of sismological data prevents one detailed acquaintance of the Mars inside; however, thanks to the measurements of the moment of inertia of Mars carried out from the probe space American Mars Pathfinder have been possible to assess that the nucleus of the planet, composed from denser materials regarding the cape, has a beam comprised between 1500 and 2100 km. The CNES, the agency space them French, are planning the shipment on the surface of Mars of four small automatic probes, Netlanders, in order to carry out sismological analysis on the planet. The probes would have to be transported from a orbiter of French fabrication and to land in various points of the planet, so as to record the differences of intensity of earthquakes and the average speed of propagation of the sismic waves in the land. One thinks that Mars is center of approximately a thousand of sismic events pro year of magnitudo three (on the Richter scale), and at least a pair of events of magnitudo five. Beyond allowing the measure of the radius of the Martian nucleus with an uncertainty of approximately 5 km, the sismic data will concur to estimate the chemical composition of the nucleus and the liquid or solid nature of the material that composes it; the measurements of the inertia moment suggest a presence of iron, like in the case of the Earth, but the sulfur presence is not excluded, that it would lower the density and the melting point of the mixture. On the Earth, the presence of a rotary liquid ferromagnetic nucleus is responsible of the geomagnetic field; Mars, to the contrary, does not introduce a magnetic field of relief. Also not excluding the presence of a liquid nucleus, however, this is a strong indication to favor of the presence of a solid inner nucleus.

Natural satellites

The planet has two natural satellites, Phobos, from the diameter of approximately 27 km, and Deimos, than measures approximately 10 km. Phobos is destined, in a period of time estimated in some million years, to approach itself the planet more and more until exceeding the limit of Roche and disintegrating themselves for effect of the intense tidial forces. The names of the satellites mean, in Greek language, fear and fright; they are the aspects of the war, represented from the Greek God Ares, Mars.

Mars exploration

The missions spaces them on Mars has been numerous, since years 60 when they have shown for the first time the true aspect of the planet, has allowed to better comprise the origin and the evolution of the surface and the atmosphere of the planet. However regarding the numerous missions it spaces carried out them until today, the huge successes go place side by side to the many failures of losses and technical disadvantages. Also for this reason the planet maintains its fascination and its mystery alive. The Mars exploration has been an important part of the exploration missions spaces them of the Soviet Union, the United States, Europe and Japan. Since years ' 60 have been sended towards Mars dozens of vehicles without crew, that they included orbiter, lander and rover, in order to collect dats and to answer to questions on the red planet and its past, that they could carry to ulterior discoveries for the past, present and future of the Earth. The Mars exploration has caught up considerable financial costs with a amount of failed missions of approximately two thirds of the missions totals. This high rate failures can be chargeed to the great number of factors that can go bad, even if some losses of communications or failures which had to no appearing cause have carried some investigators to speak, playfully, of a Great Galactic Ghoul whose diet would consist of Martian probes. This phenomenon widely is known like the Malediction of Mars. The space program Soviet launch two probes for the flyby towards Mars in October 1960, nicknamed Mars 1960A and Mars 1960B, but both failed in catching up the land orbit. In 1962, others three Soviet probes failed - two in the Earth’s orbit and one interrupted the communications while it was travelling toward Mars (Mars 1). In 1964, the probe Zond 2 was an other attempt failed in catching up Mars. In 1974 Mars 5 it caught up Mars and sended beyond sixty images of the area to south of the Valles Marineris, before the end of the mission. In 1964 the Jet Propulsion Laboratory of NASA carried out two tried you to catch up Mars. The probes 3 Mariner and Mariner 4 were identical and their scope was that one to carry out first flyby of the red planet. Mariner 3 came launch 5 November 1964 but the protecting cover did not succeed to open itself. Three weeks after, 28 November 1964, succeeding the probe Mariner 4. It caught up Mars the 14 July 1965, giving the first images near of an other planet. They showed craters from impact similar to those lunar ones, some of which seemed covered of frost or ice. NASA continued the Mariner program with an other pair of probes for flyby (the 6 Mariner and Mariner 7), that they caught up the planet in 1969. During the following window of launch the Mariner program endured the loss of an other pair of probes. Mariner 9 entered with happening in the Mars orbit, after the failure of the launch of the twin probe Mariner 8. Mariner 9, together to the two Soviet probes Mars 2 and Mars 3 found enormous sandstorm in course. The mission controllers used the remaining time in the wait that the storm was attenuated in order to photograph the moon Phobos. Later Mariner 9 photographed the Mars surface, that they supplied ulterior indications between which the possibility that a time was present water in the liquid state. In 1969 the Soviet Union prepared an ambitious orbiter called M-69. Two copies of this probe came lost during the launch, that it came carried out through the new and powerful Proton rocket. In 1971, after the failure of the probe Cosmos 419, the Soviet Union sended Mars 2 and Mars 3, nearly a decade after the launch of Mars 1. Both transported a lander and arrived on Mars in 1971. The lander of Mars 2 entered in the Martian atmosphere with a too much narrow angle and came destroyed, while the lander of Mars 3 only worked for 20 second after the landing. They were the first human artefacts to touch Mars. In 1973 the Soviet Union sended other four probes: the orbiters Mars 4 and Mars 5 and the probes flyby with landers Mars 6 and Mars 7. Only Mars 5 had success: it transmitted 60 images before having an breakdown to the communications. The lander of Mars 6 transmitted only data during the landing but the contacts got lost how it landed. The others two probes (4 Mars and Mars 7) lacked the planet. In the 1976 the two probes Viking entered in the Mars orbit and both sended a lander that succeeding a soft landing on the surface of the planet. These two missions sended the first images to colors and detail given scientific data. The temperatures measured in the places of landing varied between 150 and 250 K (between -123 °C and -23 °C). They came observed sandstorms, changes of atmospheric pressure and atmospheric gas movements between the icecaps. A experiment produced a possible test of life, but it was not confirmed from other experiments. The greater part of the scientists thinks that currently not there is life on the planet. While orbiter Viking 1 was trying a landing point adapted for the lander, on 25 July 1976 photographed a zone that came nicknamed the "face on Mars". In 1988 the Soviet Union launch the probes Phobos 1 and 2 in order to study Mars and the moons Phobos and Deimos. The communications with Phobos 1 were interrupted while it was trawelling towards Mars, while Phobos 2 succeeded to photograph Mars and Phobos; however the mission failed before sending two lander on the surface of Phobos. After the failure of 1992 of the orbiter Mars Observer, NASA launch the Mars Global Surveyor 7 November 1996. This was the first succeeded mission of the United States in two decades and the first success in absolute. It gone in orbit the 12 september 1997, after a year began the mapping in March 1999. The probe observed the planet from one low altitude, neighbor to a polar orbit along an entire Martian year (equivalent to approximately two Earth’s years). The mission was completed on 31 January 2001 and now is in a phase of extension. It has been studied the entire surface of the planet, its atmosphere and the collected data have are greater than all the other previous probes. Between the most important scientific data, the Global Surveyor has sended images of channels and detritus that suggest the possibility of liquid water source on the surface. Similar channels are formed on the Earth from water flows, but on Mars the temperature is generally too much low and the atmosphere is too much tenuous in order to support liquid water. However some scientists have assumed that liquid superficial water can sometimes emerge in surface, dig channels and throats and flows later on under to the land before freezing and evaporating. The data of the magnetometer indicated that the magnetic field of the planet is not totally generated from the inner nucleus, but is localized in particular areas of the crust. The new data on the temperature and images near of the moon Phobos have shown that its surface is constituted from a dusty layer of 1 meter, often provoked from meteorites impacts during million years. The data of the altimeter laser have supplied the first three-dimensional visual of the icecap of the hemisphere North. The probe Mars Pathfinder, launched a month after the Global Surveyor, landed the 4 July 1997. The landing zone was an ancient fluvial plain in the north hemisphere called Ares Vallis, that it is between the fuller of rocks zones of the planet. The probe comprised a small rover controlled from remote called Sojourner, that it travelled for some meters around the site of landing studying cliffs. The rover explored the Mars surface in a way that had been executed previously from the two rover Lunokhod Russian on the Moon 30 years before. Until the moment of the last transmission the 27 september 1997, the Mars Pathfinder sended 16500 images from lander and 550 images from the rover, beyond to 16 chemistries analyses of cliffs and the ground and details data on the winds and other meteorological factors. These data suggested to the scientists that in some moment of the past the planet could have been warm and humid, and could have possessed water to the liquid state and a denser atmosphere. After the successes of the Global Surveyor and the Pathfinder, between 1998 and the 1999 there was an other series of failures: The  Japanese orbiter Nozomi, the Mars Climate Orbiter, the Mars Polar Lander and the penetratori Deep Space 2 of NASA did not carry to end the mission. The regarding episode the Mars Climate Orbiter is particularly ill-famed, had to the lack of conversion between unit of measure of the Decimal Metric System them and the imperial system. In this way they came generates wrong data that they made to burn the probe during the income in the Martian atmosphere. In the 2001 misfortune ended with orbiter the Mars Odyssey of NASA. During the mission it came used spectrometers and cameras in order to try the tests of existence of water and the volcanic activity of the planet. In 2002 it came announced that the spectrometer X rays and the spectrometer to neutrons had found large quantity of hydrogen, that indicated the presence of goes of iced water under to the Martian land within 60° of latitude from the South Pole. The 2 june the 2003 probe Mars Express of the ESA came launch from the cosmodromo of Baikonur towards Mars. It was constituted from orbiter Mars Express and lander Beagle 2. Even if the lander it was not planned in order to move, it was endowed of a device that allowed to dig the ground, the smallest mass spectrometer of every time and other devices mounts on a robotic arm for being able to accurately analyze the ground under the dusty surface. The orbiter on 25 December 2003 entered in orbit and the same day the lander entered in the Mars atmosphere. However the tried to contact the lander failed. They lasted during the month of January and in February the lander it came declared dispersed. Mars Orbiter Express confirmed the presence of iced water and iced carbon dioxide water in the South Pole of the planet. NASA had previously confirmed their presence also in the North Pole. Little after the launch of Mars Express, NASA sended one couple of rover twin. The Rover Spirit (MER-A) came launch on 10 june 2003 and landed in the crater Gusev  (than it was assumed was in the past a lake) and rover Opportunity (MER-B) it came launch the 7 July 2003 and landed on 24 January 2004 in the Planum Meridians. Both carried out geologic searches. Except a temporary loss of communications with Spirit (than it is believed has been caused from a problem to the memory flash), that slowed down the exploration of various days, both the rover continued the exploration in respects landing places. The Rover Opportunity in particular landed in a decidedly interesting place: a crater with cliff outcrops. The members of the team announced on 2 March that the data sended from the rover showed as those cliffs had been in past dipped in the water and 23 March came assumed that being had to be submergeeed in a salted sea. This is the first strong test of a last liquid water presence on Mars. To August 2006, both the rover are active and carry out new discoveries (between which the first uncovered meteorite on an other planet, called Heat Shield Rock), even if they begin to show the signs of the time and demand occasional help from Earth. The Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO) is a multipurpose probe planned in order to lead a recognition and a exploration of Marsfrom the orbit. It came constructed to the cost of 720 million dollars from the Lockheed Martin under the supervision of the Jet Propulsion Laboratory and was launch on 12 August 2005. On 12 March 2006 has entered in the Mars orbit. The MRO contains scientific instruments like the HiRISE camera, CRISM and SHARAD. The HiRISE room will come used in order to analyze the Martian land, while CRISM and SHARAD will try water, ice and minerals on and under the surface. Moreover the MRO will smooth the road to the future probes seeing the meteorological conditions and of the surface, trying new places of landing and testing a new system of telecommunicationses that will allow to the exchange of information to a speed never caught up previously. The transfer of data towards and from the probe will come carried out more fastly than all the other previous interplanetary missions and will come used like an important satellite repeater for the future missions. The next mission on Mars is the lander Phoenix, launch in the August of 2007 that would have to arrive on 25 May 2008. It would have to be followed from the rover Mars Science Laboratory in 2009 and is previewed also an other mission in 2011 (Mars 2011). Later NASA plans to send a rover in the mission Astrobiology Field Laboratory in 2016. Russia is planning the launch of the probe Phobos-Grunt in 2009. The ESA has given to the way to the program Dawn, a plan in the long term having objective the development of strategies of exploration of Mars also with missions with crew. The three main missions of the plan will be: in the 2007 Earth Re-Entry Vehicle Demonstrator (EVD) that he will serve in order to verify the technical feasibility of the mission Mars Sample Return (you see beyond), in the 2009 ExoMars mission that will consist of a rover and in the 2011 mission Mars Sample Return (MSR) that will collect cliffs and data of the ground and for the first time will bring back them on the earth where they will come analyzes to you. He follows a table of all the spaces missions on Mars conduct from the countries (red-adapt NASA source), adjourned on 16 August 2005.




Data  del  lancio



Marsnik 1 (Mars 1960A)


10 ottobre 1960

flyby di Marte

non ha raggiunto l'orbita terrestre

Marsnik 2 (Mars 1960B)


14 ottobre 1960

flyby di Marte

non ha raggiunto l'orbita terrestre

Sputnik 22


24 ottobre 1962

flyby di Marte

raggiunta solo orbita terrestre

Mars 1


1 novembre 1962

flyby di Marte

guasto alla radio a 106 milioni di km

Sputnik 24


4 novembre 1962

flyby di Marte

raggiunta solo orbita terrestre

Mariner 3


5 novembre 1964

flyby di Marte

mancata apertura dello scudo protettivo

Mariner 4


28 novembre 1964

primo flyby di Marte il 14 luglio 1965

inviate 21 foto

Zond 2


30 novembre 1964

flyby di Marte

arrivato a Marte, ma un guasto alla radio ha impedito di ricevere qualunque dato

Mariner 6


24 febbraio 1969

flyby di Marte il 31 luglio 1969

inviate 75 foto

Mariner 7


27 marzo 1969

flyby di Marte il 5 agosto 1969

inviate 126 foto

Mariner 8


8 maggio 1971

Mars orbiter

lancio fallito

Kosmos 419


10 maggio 1971

Mars lander

raggiunta solo l'orbita terrestre

Mars 2


19 maggio 1971

orbiter/lander arrivato il 27 novembre 1971

nessun dato utile, lander distrutto

Mars 3


28 maggio 1971

Mars orbiter/lander, arrivato il 3 dicembre 1971

qualche dato e poche foto

Mariner 9


30 maggio 1971

Mars orbiter, in orbita dal 13 novembre 1971 al 27 ottobre 1972

inviate 7.329 foto

Mars 4


21 luglio 1973

l'orbiter ha fallito la missione

volo vicino a Marte 10 febbraio 1974

Mars 5


25 luglio 1973

orbiter, arrivato il 12 febbraio 1974

durato pochi giorni

Mars 6


5 agosto 1973

orbiter/lander, arrivato il 12 marzo 1974

pochi dati

Mars 7


9 agosto 1973

orbiter/lander, arrivato il 9 marzo 1974

pochi dati

Viking 1


20 agosto 1975

orbiter/lander, in orbita 19 giugno/76-1980, al suolo 20 luglio/76-1982

i due Viking (orbiter e lander) hanno inviato più di 50.000 foto

Viking 2


9 settembre 1975

orbiter/lander, in orbita 7 agosto/1976-1987, al suolo 6 settembre/1976-1980

i due Viking (orbiter e lander) hanno inviato più di 50.000 foto

Phobos 1


7 luglio 1988

orbiter/lander su Marte e Fobos

persi in agosto nell'avvicinamento a Marte

Phobos 2


12 luglio 1988

Mars/Phobos orbiter/lander

perso nel marzo 1989 nei pressi di Fobos

Mars Observer


25 settembre1992


perso poco prima di arrivare su Marte, il 21 agosto 1993

Mars Global Surveyor


7 novembre 1996

orbiter, arrivato il 12 settembre 1997

Missione primaria di mappatura terminata, estesa la sua missione

Mars 96


16 novembre 1996

orbiter e landers

lancio fallito

Mars Pathfinder


4 dicembre 1996

lander e rover, atterrati il 4 luglio 1997

Primo rover su Marte. Ultima trasmissione 27 settembre 1997

Nozomi (Planet-B)


4 luglio 1998

orbiter, attualmente in orbita intorno al Sole

arrivo su Marte posticipato al dicembre 2003 causa problemi alla propulsione

Mars Climate Orbiter


11 dicembre 1998


perso all'arrivo su Marte il 23 settembre 1999

Mars Polar Lander
Deep Space 2


3 gennaio 1999

lander/sonde di discesa per esplorare il polo sud marziano

perso all'arrivo il 3 dicembre 1999

Mars Odyssey


7 aprile 2001


in corso missione primaria di mappatura scientifica

Mars Express


2 giugno 2003


Sonda operativa, rover disperso

Mars Exploration Rover


7-10 giugno 2003

2 rover: Spirit e Opportunity

analisi del pianeta, operativa

Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter


12 agosto 2005

Mars orbiter

analisi del pianeta