Learning With The Times

Out of 43 attempts, only 20 Mars mission have been successful

Which was the first successful mission to Mars?

November 28, 2014 was the 50th anniversary of NASA’s Mariner-4 mission to the red planet. This was the first successful mission to another planet as the flyby managed to send back 21 images showing lunar-type impact craters. It was the seventh attempt for flyby encounters to Mars. The Orion Multi-Purpose Crew Vehicle’s debut unmanned test flight, known as Exploration Flight Test 1 (EFT-1), was launched aboard a Delta IV Heavy rocket on December 5, 2014 on a flight lasting 4 hours and 24 minutes, landing at its tar get in the Pacific Ocean.

mars methaneSo far how many missions have been sent to Mars?

According to NASA, there have been 43 attempts so far to probe the red planet. Of these missions (flyby, arbiters and landers), 20 were successful while 23 failed to achieve their desired targets. The 1971 Soviet Mars 3 OrbiterLander was space science’s next big achievement after Mariner-4. Orbiter, on the other hand, operated for 8 months. In 1975, America’s Viking 1 & 2 Orbiter provided detailed colour panoramic views of the planet. The 1996 pathfinder sent by the Americans succeeded in landing a six-wheel rover on the planet. The 2011 Curiosity Rover was another big achievement. In 2014, India managed to send the world’s cheapest interplanetary orbiter to Mars.

Since when is Mars known to humans?

Mars is one of the planets known since antiquity . It was known to ancient Babylonian, Egyptian, Indian, Greek and Roman astronomers. Named after the Roman god of war, it is the fourth planet of the solar system in terms of distance from the sun.

Do scientists firmly believe that the planet doesn’t have life?

The 1975 Viking mission conducted many chemical tests in search of life, but the results were negative. Whether the planet has life or had life in the past is a debatable issue. By the 1990s, biologists found that microbial life has the flexibility of surviving in extreme conditions hostile for humans. Many scientists have also speculated that life might have thrived billions of years ago in an underground thermal spring or other liquid water environment.