Robot spacecraft are currently exploring Mars - the fourth planet from the Sun. Mars was first visited in close proximity by the Mariner 3 spacecraft in November 1964.

Mars was once much more similar in its climate to Earth in that it had an atmosphere and water on its surface. Scientists are trying to understand how Mars changed since the creation of our solar system.

To find out more about of Mars exploration please visit here. It is hoped that human explorers could visit Mars as soon as 2030.

Mars Science Laboratory

Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) Rover. Also known as 'Curiosity'. Landed on Mars in August 2012.

Currently exploring the planet at Gale crater near the Mars equator. Below is some videos about the progress of its mission (hint: you can maximise the video to your display for full-screen viewing).

Further mission reports by the rover project team may be found here.
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MAVEN orbiter

The Mars Atmosphere and Volatile Evolution Mission (MAVEN) Orbiter. To be launched in November-December 2013.

MAVEN will explore the planet’s upper atmosphere, ionosphere and interactions with the sun and solar wind. Scientists will use MAVEN data to determine the role that loss of volatile compounds, such as CO2, N2, and H2O, from the Mars atmosphere to space has played over time, giving insight into the history of Mars atmosphere and climate, liquid water, and planetary habitability.

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Below is some videos about its mission (hint: you can maximise the video to your display for full-screen viewing). Further mission reports by the orbiter project team may be found here.

Future Missions - Mars 2020 rover

Building on the success of Curiosity's landing, NASA has announced plans for a new robotic science rover set to launch in 2020. This announcement affirms the agency's commitment to a bold exploration program that meets our nation's scientific and human exploration objectives.

Below is some videos about its mission (hint: you can maximise the video to your display for full-screen viewing). Further mission reports by the rover project team may be found here.
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