Both NASA and China’s space agency hope to launch new rovers for Mars in the coming weeks, and if they make it they’ll become the 9th and 10th craft to successfully land on the surface of our planetary neighbor.
Hopefully, neithernor China’s Tianwen-1 rover become the next machine to end its mission abruptly with a crash landing on Mars. At least two craft have crashed, while four others have lost contact with Earth just before or after landing.
To mark the upcoming Martian launch season, which only occurs when the planets are best aligned for the trip every 26 months, the Planetary Society put together the below map of all 17 Mars landing attempts, past and future, up through the planned 2023 landing of a European rover and Russian lander.
Interestingly, all eight successful Mars landings have been NASA missions, although the US space agency also had a failure of its own when the Mars Polar Lander was lost in 1999.
As the map shows, Perseverance will land relatively close to the area where the European Space Agency’s Beagle 2 was last seen. The ESA lost contact with the lander after separation, ending its mission abruptly, although it was later found to have landed successfully.
The Planetary Society’s Emily Lakdawalla put together the map, along with the handy infographic below, and there’s more information about some of the landings here.
NASA’s Perseverance rover is currently scheduled to launch July 17 and touch down in Jezero Crater on Feb. 18.