Follow this link to skip to the main content National Aeronautics and Space Administration Logo
NASA Banner
NASA Mars Exploration Program
Mars Exploration Program
Home
PROGRAM & MISSIONS

Missions

All All
All International Missions
Past Past
Mariner 3-4 | Mariner 6-7 | Mariner 8-9 | Viking 1-2 | Mars Observer | Global Surveyor | Pathfinder | Climate Orbiter | Polar Lander/Deep Space 2 | Phoenix
Present Present
2001 Mars Odyssey | 2003 Mars Exploration Rovers | Mars Express | Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter | Mars Science Laboratory | MAVEN
Future Future
InSight | NASA In 2016 ExoMars Orbiter | NASA In 2018 ExoMars Rover | 2020 Mission Plans

So far, the exploration of Mars has occurred in three stages:
Flybys:
Flybys When we were just starting out in solar system exploration, the very first missions simply flew by Mars, taking as many pictures as possible on their way past.
Flyby missions include: Mariner 3-4 | Mariner 6-7

gray bar
Orbiters:
Orbiters As our knowledge and technologies grew, we began putting spacecraft in orbit around Mars for longer term, global studies.
Orbital missions include:Mariner 8-9 | Viking 1-2 | Mars Observer | Mars Global Surveyor | Mars Climate Orbiter | 2001 Mars Odyssey | Mars Express | Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter | Mars Atmosphere and Volatile Evolution | NASA In 2016 ExoMars Orbiter

gray bar
Landers & Rovers:
Landers & Rovers Then, with even more capabilities over the years, we began to land on the surface. Today, we're not only landing in one place, but have shown that we can be mobile on the surface of Mars.
Landed missions include: Viking 1-2 | Pathfinder | Polar Lander/Deep Space 2 | Mars Exploration Rovers | Phoenix | Mars Science Laboratory | NASA In 2018 ExoMars Rover | 2020 Mission Plans

In the future, Mars exploration may bring:
Airplanes & Balloons:
Airplanes & Balloons We may send craft that can study the planet from a perspective we've never achieved before: soaring views from the Martian sky.
gray bar
Subsurface Explorers:
Subsurface Explorers Going below the ground will tell us more about the geology of the planet, the presence of water, and maybe even clues about whether Mars was ever a habitat for life.
gray bar
Sample Returns:
Sample Returns Bringing samples of Martian rocks, soils, and atmosphere back to Earth would give us the opportunity to study the red planet close-up, in laboratories here on Earth.

USA.gov
PRIVACY     FAQ     SITEMAP     FEEDBACK     IMAGE POLICY