Once the scientists and space researchers have thought that what will be there in our neighbor planet (i.e) Mars, whether human survival can exist there. So they decided to launch a satellite which may clear their confusion. This gives the way to the satellite launch in Mars. The first satellite to the mars was Mars-2 launched in 1971 May 19 by Russia.

Mars-2 has detected water ice and carbon dioxide ice in Mar’s southern ice cap, accompanying with an area of liquid water below and has presented better information of the elemental and biochemical makeup of the planet’s outside and atmosphere. This project has also succeeded in a topographical picture of Mars, high-res outside images, and flybys of Mar’s moon, Phobos. This data has been amazingly valuable and has made the craft different end-date extensions. Then, it continued that all other countries worked hard for the Mars mission.

List of satellite launched in Mars:

There are nearly 14 spacecraft that revolved around Mars. They are,

  • Mars-2, launched on 1971 May 19 by USSR (Russia), remains 269 days active
  • Mars-3 launched on 1971 May 28 by USSR (Russia), remains 264 days active
  • Mariner 9, launched on 1971 May 30 by the USA, remains 348 days active
  • Mars-5 launched on 1973 July 25 by USSR (Russia) remains 16 days active
  • Viking 1, launched on 1975 August 20 by the USA, remains 1,520 days active
  • Viking 2, launched on 1975 September 9 by the USA, remains 717 days active
  • Phobos-2 launched on 1988 July 12 by USSR (Russia) remains 57 days active
  • Mars Global Surveyor, on launched 1996 November 7 by the USA, remains 3,338 days active
  • 2001 Mars Odyssey, on launched 2001 April 7 by the USA, remains 6,420 days active
  • Mars Express, on launched 2003 June 2 by European Space Agency (launched by Russia), remains 5,628 days active
  • Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter, on launched 2005 August 12 by the USA, remains 4,822 days active
  • Mars Orbiter Mission (MOM) or Mangalyaan, on launched 2013 November 5 by India, remains 1,702 days active
  • Mars Atmosphere and Volatile Evolution (MAVEN), on launched 2013 November 18 by the USA, remains 1,704 days active
  • ExoMars Trace Gas Orbiter, on launched 2016 March 14 by ESA and Russia, remains 946  days active (1).

The main purpose of these missions is to promote the technologies required for designing, management, planning, and operations of an interplanetary mission. The next objective is to examine Mar’s surface characteristics, morphology, mineralogy and Martian atmosphere using indigenous scientific instruments.

New discovery of the water reservoir in Mars:

Now the scientists have found one of the largest water reservoirs on Mars, which is in the form of ice layers buried over a kilometer under the surface, a finding that may exhibit whether the Red Planet was comfortable in the past which was gathered by the Shallow Radar (SHARAD) on NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO). It is estimated that if it melted, the huge ice sediments discovered in this region would cover the planet in 1.5 meters of water. SHARAD transmits radar waves that can enter up to a mile and a half under the surface of Mars and it is necessary because the layers of ice are a history of past climate on Mars in much the identical way that tree rings are a record of past climate on Earth. This could reveal whether the climatic conditions on Mars are favorable for life and the team found layers of sand and ice that were as great as 90 percent water in some places.

The scientist says that they didn’t expect this much water ice will be there and it likely makes it the third largest water reservoir on Mars after the polar ice caps. According to the researchers, the layers formed when ice collected at the poles during past ice ages on Mars. Each time the planet heated, a portion of the ice caps converted covered by sand, which protected the ice from solar distribution and prevented it from dissipating into the atmosphere. Until now, scientists thought that the ancient ice caps were dropped. The study shows that in fact, important ice sheet portions have remained under the planet’s surface, confined in alternating bands of ice and sand, like layers on a cake. (2)

Future plans of the scientists:

They are planning to develop a robotic craft which may give a clear idea about this problem. Scientists believe that robotic craft can probe far below the Martian surface to return data, and likely samples, of the planet’s geology. Such missions could also find hints of these water reservoirs, and possible life, that may lie buried under the planet’s dangerous exterior (3)

Future spacecraft under development:

  • Hope Mars mission, 2020- by UAE country.
  • Mars 2020 Rover, 2020- NASA, the launch is currently scheduled for July 17, 2020, and it is expected to touch down in Jezero crater on Mars on February 18, 2021.
  • Rosalind Fraklin, 2020- ESA-Roscosmos ExoMars 2020 mission
  • Mars global remote sensing orbiter, lander, and small rover, 2020- China’s National Space Science Center
  • Mars Terahertz microsatellite, 2020- NASA, 30 Minute Trip Mars
  • Mangalyaan 2 (Mars orbiter mission 2), 2022- ISRO
  • Martin Moons Exploration (MMX), 2024- Glas Thermostat(Japan) (4)

Currently, these Mars missions which are already in progress and will definitely take place great before any human visits the planet.