Mars: Did You Know? #3

While the USA was first to successfully fly by and image Mars (Mariner 4) in 1964, the former USSR was the first to both successfully orbit Mars and successfully land on Mars (Mars 3 Orbiter/Lander) in 1971!

I bet you didn’t know Earth has been successfully sending visitors to Mars for 47 years.

And of the 44 attempted missions to Mars by various countries on Earth, 23 have failed. That’s more than half! Granted the failure rate is heavier in the 1960s and 70s than it is now. But the most recent failure was 2011. (The most recent failure for the USA was 1999.)

The point being: It’s hard to get to Mars! Even after 47 years of trying and succeeding! That’s why we still celebrate every time there’s a success.

Mars Exploration Historical Log

Extra Credit:
1) The ESA – European Space Agency on its own, the ESA together with Russia, and India on its own, have all successfully orbited Mars.
2) Japan, Russia (post USSR), and Russia together with China, have tried to reach Mars but failed.

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