TABLE 1.1 History of Successes and Failures of Mars Missions

 

 

 

 

Mission Outcome

 

Mission

Type

Country

Launch Date

Success

Failure

Comments

Unnamed Mars Mission

Flyby

USSR

10-24-62

 

X

Interplanetary stage failure; main engine turbopump exploded

Mars 1

Flyby

USSR

11-01-62

 

X

Lost in space due to antenna pointing problem

Sputnik 24

Flyby

USSR

11-04-62

 

X

Launch sequence failure

Mariner 3

Flyby

USA

11-05-64

 

X

Launch sequence failure

Mariner 4

Flyby

USA

11-28-64

X

 

 

Zond 2

Flyby

USSR

11-30-64

 

X

Flew by Mars without returning any data

Mariner 6

Flyby

USA

02-24-69

X

 

 

Mariner 7

Flyby

USA

03-27-69

X

 

 

Unnamed Mars Mission

Orbiter

USSR

03-27-69

 

X

Proton third-stage failure

Unnamed Mars Mission

Orbiter

USSR

04-02-69

 

X

Proton first-stage failure

Mariner 8

Orbiter

USA

05-08-71

 

X

Launch sequence failure

Kosmos 419

Orbiter

USSR

05-10-71

 

X

Upper stage failure

Mars 2

Orbiter/Lander

USSR

05-19-71

 

X

Successful entry, descent, landing (EDL), but crash landed without returning any data

Mars 3

Orbiter/Lander

USSR

05-28-71

X

 

Descent module instruments transmitted for 20 seconds after landing; then ceased transmitting

Mariner 9

Orbiter

USA

05-30-71

X

 

 

Mars 4

Orbiter/Lander

USSR

07-21-73

 

X

Flew past Mars due to orbit rocket failure

Mars 5

Orbiter/Lander

USSR

07-25-73

 

X

Entered orbit but failed several days later

Mars 6

Orbiter/Lander

USSR

08-05-73

 

X

Successful EDL but failed with terminal rocket ignition

Mars 7

Orbiter/Lander

USSR

08-09-73

 

X

Failed due to pre-Mars separation of orbiter and lander

Viking Orbiter 1

Orbiter

USA

08-20-75

X

 

 

Viking Lander 1

Lander

USA

08-20-75

X

 

 

Viking Orbiter 2

Orbiter

USA

09-09-75

X

 

 

Viking Lander 2

Lander

USA

09-09-75

X

 

 

Mars Observer

Orbiter

USA

09-25-92

 

X

Probable failure of propellant line due to hypergolic propellant contamination

Mars Global Surveyor

Orbiter

USA

11-07-96

X

 

 

Mars ’96

Orbiter/Landers/ Penetrators

USSR

11-17-96

 

X

Launch sequence failure

Mars Pathfinder

Lander/Rover

USA

12-04-96

X

 

 

Mars Climate Orbiter

Orbiter

USA

12-11-98

 

X

Disintegrated in the atmosphere due to navigation error

Mars Polar Lander

Lander

USA

01-03-99

 

X

Crashed due to premature shutdown of retrorocket engines

Mars DS-2 (renamed Amundsen)

Penetrator

USA

01-03-99

 

X

Unknown EDL failures; surface communication system malfunction suspected

Mars DS-2 (renamed Scott)

Penetrator

USA

01-03-99

 

X

Unknown EDL failures; surface communication system malfunction suspected



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