Exploring the Red Planet

As NASA prepares to launch its new Curiosity Mars rover, we look back at some of the highlights--and the misfires--in more than 50 years of Mars missions

Digging Mars: Mars Science Lab Set to Blast Off

The Mars Phoenix mission revived hopes that the Red Planet may be habitable, preparing the way for a new rover to be launched this month


Timeline of Mars Exploration, from 1960 to 2011 [Interactive]

Two Mars missions are scheduled to launch this month. How have their predecessors fared? Find out more in Exploring the Red Planet


Mapping Mars: Where Have All the Landers Gone? [Interactive]

The first man-made object to land on Mars arrived 40 years ago this month, and NASA's Curiosity rover should soon depart for the Red Planet. Here is a look at where humankind's many Mars landers have touched down, and where the planet betrays a history of all-important liquid water. Find out more in Exploring the Red Planet


Wet Down: Warm, Wet Conditions on Ancient Mars May Have Been Confined to Subsurface

Mars has plenty of minerals that suggest a watery past, but that does not mean that the Red Planet once looked like Earth


    More In This Report

    Editors Picks

    Scientific American Back To School

    Back to School Sale!

    12 Digital Issues + 4 Years of Archive Access just $19.99

    Order Now >


    Email this Article