Searching the Life on Mars : History of Exploration
- Post by: Wasla Zainab Awan
- February 26, 2021
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There are a few things which have fascinated the mankind since the very beginning such as Life on Mars or on other plants or solar system. Be it big bang theory, concept and myths attached to black hole paradigm, it is all in a sync for the human brain.
Multiple occasions have occurred when the depth and passion of human ability to explore the hidden secrets of the universe became evident. Same is the case when it comes to planets, and their connection to mother Earth.
Among these, the earth’s closest neighbor inspires mankind the most with an urge to imagine and experience life there.
Yes, we are talking about the planet Mars and the life on Mars.
Over the past few decades, various attempts have been made in order to search for the other beings living at this red planet, but no significance progress has been observed so far.
It eventually started in the late 1800s when telescopes revealed the existence of a surface full of interesting features and appealing patterns.
The sign of no water and a dry surface made scientists clear of the fact that there exists no life on Mars but the study states that this planet around 3.5 billion years ago might have been as habitable as earth is today.
The first attempt to reach Mars happened in 1957 followed by the dawn of space exploration. Soon after which, USSR, formally known as Union of Soviet Specialists made numerous attempts in 1960s to reach Mars. NASA followed its footsteps with its Mariner 3 spacecraft.
A series of events followed and on November 4th, 1971, Mariner 9 became the first space probe to orbit another planet when it entered to orbit around Mars. The amount of data returned by probes increased drastically with evolution of time and technology.
Many other missions had their execution with the passage of time but failed to be called successful. Some failed during descent and some lost their contact on the way which resulted in unreturned data.
Mars in general has the reputation as a difficult space exploration target.
The record holds the fact that only 25 out of 55 missions through 2019, making it 45.5 % have been fully successful with further partial successes and failures on record.
Missions since 2001 were a total of sixteen out of which twelve came as successful and eight of these are still operational. Quite a long list follows the missions which ended prematurely including Schiaparelli Lander in 2016.
Currently, the year 2021 kick-started with a tremendous progress. February 2021 marked two operational rovers on the surface of Mars, both operated by NASA.
A third rover, part of a mission from the past is currently attached to its orbiter, and is expected to land in May,2021 to explore life on Mars.
Missions which are expected to be launched in the future are also being anticipated due to human psychology of curious state of mind. The joint ExoMars program of Roscosmos and ESA has delayed until 2022 while India plans to launch Mars Orbiter Mission 2 by 2024.