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Mars Lander Missions

Following is a list of lander missions that have reached Mars — successfully or otherwise — and a few others that are planned, as well as a few notes about each:

Active Landers

NSYT = InSight:
Stationary NASA probe that landed Nov. 26, 2018, in Elysium Planitia, at 135.62°E 4.50°N and which remains active as of Sol 484 (Apr. 6, 2020). Nominal mission period is 709 sols, or roughly 2 Earth years.

MSL = Mars Science Laboratory / Curiosity:
NASA rover mission that landed Aug. 6, 2012 (UTC; late Aug. 5 in US Pacific time) at 137.44°E 4.59°S in Gale Crater. The site is also known as Bradbury Landing. Nominal mission duration was 668 sols (i.e., 1 Mars year), but the rover remains active as of Sol 2726 of its mission (Apr. 6, 2020). Since landing, the rover had traveled about 20 km.


Planned Landers

Potential landing site coordinates for the NASA Perseverance and ESA/Roscomos ExoMars 2022 missions are given below. Coordinates for the China Huoxing-1 mission have not yet been announced.

M20 = Mars Perseverance (aka Mars 2020):
NASA rover project announced in July 2016 and intended for launch in summer 2020 with landing in February 2021, using a design similar to that of MSL Curiosity but with different science payload. It was announced in November 2018 that the landing site would be in Jezero Crater. Mission navigation documentation dated August 2019 indicates a planned landing site at 77.43°E 18.67°N.

Huoxing-1 (HX-1):
China's 2020 combined small rover and orbiter project, announced in August 2016 and intended for launch in summer 2020, with orbital insertion in February 2021 and rover landing in April 2021. As of September 2019, two candidate landing sites in or near Utopia Planitia were being considered.

E22 = ExoMars 2022 Rover and Surface Platform:
Combined ESA Rosalind Franklin rover and Roscosmos Kazachok stationary platform currently scheduled to launch in summer 2022. In summer 2019, it was confirmed that the rover's target landing site was in Oxia Planum, at roughly 335.45°E 18.20°N. Originally announced with intention to launch in 2018, but then rescheduled to 2020. In winter 2020, several issues remained to be resolved so that there was probably insufficient time to complete pre-launch activities. Consequently, it was announced on March 12, 2020, that the mission would be postponed to the mid-2022 launch window.


Past Successful Landers

VL1 = Viking Lander 1:
NASA probe that landed July 20, 1976, at 312.05°E 22.27°N in Chryse Planitia. The landing site is also known as Thomas Mutch Memorial Station. This was the first completely successful Mars landing. The lander was active until mission Sol 2243 (Nov. 11, 1982). Its companion orbiter operated until Aug. 7, 1980.

VL2 = Viking Lander 2:
NASA probe that landed Sep. 3, 1976, at 134.28°E 48.27°N in Utopia Planitia. The landing site is also known as Gerald Soffen Memorial Station. The lander was active until mission Sol 1280 (Apr. 11, 1980). Its companion orbiter operated until July 7, 1978.

MPF = Mars Pathfinder:
NASA probe that landed July 4, 1997, at 326.75°E 19.47°N in Ares Vallis. The landing site is also known as Carl Sagan Memorial Station. The last transmission received from Mars Pathfinder lander came on mission Sol 93 (Oct. 7, 1997). The lander included a small rover called Sojourner, which traveled about 100 meters during the course of the mission.

MERA = Mars Exploration Rover A / Spirit:
NASA rover that landed Jan. 4, 2004 (UTC; late Jan. 3 in US time) at 175.48°E -14.57°N in Gusev Crater. The landing site is also known as Columbia Memorial Station. Nominal mission duration was 90 sols (i.e., to Apr. 4, 2004), but the rover continued to operate for years. In May 2009 the rover became stuck in soft soil, which prevented it from best orienting its solar panels during the upcoming winter. The last communication from Spirit was received on Sol 2210 (Mar. 22, 2010), and NASA officially ended the mission in May 2011.

MERB = Mars Exploration Rover B / Opportunity:
NASA rover that landed Jan. 25, 2004, at 354.47°E -1.95°N in Meridiani Planum. The landing site is also known as Challenger Memorial Station. Nominal mission duration was 90 sols (i.e., until Apr. 25, 2004), but the rover remained active until Sol 5111 of its mission (June 10, 2018), at which time it went into a sleep mode to wait out a "historic" dust storm. After numerous attempts to re-establish radio contact with Opportunity failed following the storm's abatement, the mission was declared at an end on Feb. 13, 2019. The rover had traveled about 45 km since landing.

PHX = Mars Phoenix:
NASA Mars Scout probe that landed May 25, 2008 at 234.25°E 68.22°N in the Vastitas Borealis. Nominal mission period was to extend into late October 2008, at which time the change of seasons at this latitude was expected to result in the lander no longer receiving enough sunlight for its solar panels to provide power. The last communication from the lander was received on mission Sol 156 (Nov. 2, 2008). Imagery later obtained by orbiters suggested that the weight of ice accumulated during the subsequent northern Mars winter had broken off the lander's solar panels.


Unsuccessful Landers

The following missions either crashed during descent, or were unable to communicate following landing.

M2 = Mars 2 Lander:
Soviet Union probe that crashed during descent Nov. 27, 1971, at about 47°E -45°N in Hellas Planitia. It was probably damaged by descent during a global dust storm. Its companion orbiter operated for several months.

M3 = Mars 3 Lander:
Soviet Union probe that landed Dec. 2, 1971, at about 202°E -45°N in Ptolemaeus Crater in Terra Sirenum. This was the first landing attempt with any degree of success. The lander began transmitting a test image on landing, but fell silent after about 20 sec and no further communication was received. The lander may have been damaged by descent during a global dust storm, or the dust storm may have caused a corona discharge. The companion Mars 3 Orbiter operated for several months.

M6 = Mars 6:
Soviet Union probe that crashed during descent Mar. 12, 1974, at about 19.42°W -23.90°N near Samara Valles. A few minutes of unreadable descent data were transmitted, but transmissions ceased in "direct proximity to the surface". The associated Mars 7 lander, scheduled to land three days earlier, failed to descend to the Mars surface due to retrorocket failure.

MPL = Mars Polar Lander:
NASA probe that crashed during descent Dec. 3, 1999, at about 195.3°W -76.1°N in the Planum Australae. Failure is believed due to premature descent engine shutdown. MPL also carried two small "Deep Space 2" microprobes to be deployed during descent and which presumably impacted about 60 km away at about 196.5°W -75.0°N.

BEA = Beagle 2:
ESA/British Mars Express probe deployed by the Mars Express Orbiter on Dec. 25, 2003 for landing at 269.5°W 11.6°N in Isidis Planitia. Communication with Beagle 2 was not re-established after it separated from the orbiter. It was announced in January 2015 that the probe had been found about 5 km from its target landing site, apparently intact, but the impact of landing presumably prevented it from fully deploying. The Mars Express Orbiter was still in operation as of spring 2020.

EDM = ExoMars 2016 Entry, Descent and Landing Demonstrator Module / Schiaparelli:
ESA probe that crashed during descent Oct. 19, 2016, at 353.79°E 2.07°S in Meridiani Planum, in the area of NASA's MER-B Opportunity rover. The probe suffered premature parachute ejection and retrorocket shutdown during descent. The impact location is reported to have been about 5.5 km west of the planned landing site. The companion ExoMars Trace Gas Orbiter (TGO) remained in operation as of spring 2020.


Acknowledgments

VL1, VL2 and MPF landing site coordinates are taken from Kuchynka et al. (2014).

MER-A and MER-B landing site coordinates are taken from papers by Li et al (2005, 2006, 2007).

PHX landing site coordinates were provided by D. Bass.

MSL landing site coordinates were provided by A. Vasavada, B. Semenov and J. Crisp.

NSYT landing site coordinates were provided by B. Semenov.

Possible M20 landing site coordinates are taken from Grant et al. (2018).

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