Spirit Rover landed on Mars on January 4, 2004

On January 4, 2004, NASA’s Spirit Rover landed on Mars. It was a robotic Mars exploration vehicle, and with its twin Opportunity, studied the history of climate and water at sites on Mars where conditions may once have been favorable to life. Operational from January 4, 2004, to March 22, 2010, Spirit far outlasted her …

Mars Pathfinder was launched on December 4, 1996

On December 4, 1996, Mars Pathfinder, a robotic spacecraft that was designed primarily to demonstrate a low-cost way of delivering a set of science instruments and a free-ranging rover (Sojourner) to the Martian Surface was launched from Cape Canaveral on top of a Delta II rocket.

The first soft Mars landing was performed on December 2, 1971

On December 2, 1971, Soviet Union’s Mars 3 robotic space probe performed the first soft Mars landing. But, just 110 seconds after the landing, and 20 seconds after the transmissions has begun, it failed and transmitted just a gray image with no details. Although having no scientific value, this was the first transmission ever from …

Mariner 9 became the first spacecraft to maintain an orbit around another planet (Mars) on November 14, 1971

On November 9, 1971, NASA’s Mariner 9 spacecraft entered Mars orbit and became the first spacecraft to maintain an orbit around another planet than Earth. Mariner 9 beat Soviet Union’s Mars 2 by 13 days despite being launched 11 days later than its Soviet counterpart. In about 11 months, the orbiter mapped 85% of the …

11 Tallest Rockets Ever Launched [2022 Artemis Update]

To be able to reach space, we need rockets. Rocket engines work by action and reaction (“To every action, there is always opposed an equal reaction”, see notes 1) and push rockets forward simply by expelling their exhaust in the opposite direction at high speed and can, therefore, work in the vacuum of space. Space rockets …

Sojourner (Mars Pathfinder) became the first operational rover on another planet on July 4, 1997

NASA’s robotic spacecraft Mars Pathfinder landed on Mars on July 4, 1997. It was carrying a small rover named Sojourner and with that landing, Sojourner became the first operational rover on another planet.

Mariner 9, the first spacecraft to orbit Mars was launched on May 30, 1971

On May 30, 1971, Mariner 9 robotic spacecraft was launched from LC-36B at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Florida on top of an Atlas SLV-3C Centaur-D rocket. It reached Mars on November 14 of the same year and became the first spacecraft to orbit Mars, and in general, another planet.