Timeline Mars

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NASA: http://www.hq.nasa.gov
NASA Archive 9/97-8/99: www.msss.com/mocgallery
Lunar & planetary exploration: http://nssdc.gsfc.nasa.gov/planetary/chrono.html
Mars Exploration: http://nssdc.gsfc.nasa.gov/planetary/chronology_mars.html
Viking Mission: http://nssdc.gsfc.nasa.gov/planetary/viking.html

Mars circles the Sun in an elliptical orbit that averages 141.6 miles in radius. Its diameter is 4,200 miles.
    (SFC, 8/7/96, p.A9)
If the Sun were a pumpkin one foot in diameter, Mars would be a little raisin about 175 feet away.
    (SFEC, 4/30/00, Par p.9)
    The largest mountain on Mars, Olympus Mons, is 65,000 (71,564) feet high. Ascreus Montes was later measured to be 74,226 feet. Phobos (fear) and Deimos (anxiety) are the moons of Mars. Its radius is 2,113 miles and its suspected iron core was between 800-1,247 miles in radius.
    (NH, 3/97, p.68,70)(SFC, 3/21/97, p.A6)(SFC, 10/9/97, p.A10)

4.6Bil BP-3.8Bil BP    In 2008 scientists reported that water was abundant on Mars during this period.
    (SFC, 7/17/08, p.A2)

4.6Bil BP-3.5Bil BP    This represents the Noachian period on Mars.
    (SFC, 7/7/97, p.A4)

4.5Bil BP    Molten rock on Mars crystallized. The Allan Hills 84001 meteorite, found in Antarctica in 1984, was analyzed to this age.
    (SFC, 8/7/96, p.A9)(SFC, 11/1/96, p.A16)

4.4Bil BC-4.1Bil BC    Spectrometer mappings by the Mars Express, launched in 2003 by the European Space Agency (ESA), identified a clay forming period on Mars that dated to this period.
    (Econ, 4/22/06, p.76)

4Bil BC-3.5Bil BC    Volcanic activity on Mars began during this period and lasted a few hundred million years. Sulphur rich gases transformed the planet into a very acidic environment.
    (Econ, 4/22/06, p.77)

3.9Bil BC    Meteorites reached Earth after being ejected from the Moon from the impact of massive unknown objects at about this time.
    (SFC, 12/1/00, p.A21)
3.9Bil BC    Astronomers in 2008 reported that a giant meteorite crashed into Mars about this time and created a huge elliptical scar in the northern lowlands.
    (SFC, 6/26/08, p.A4)

3.6Bil BC    Carbonate minerals formed on Mars. Mars was warm enough and hospitable enough to support life if it existed.
    (SFC, 8/7/96, p.A9)(SFC, 9/1/96, p.A22)

3.5Bil BC    A huge object crashed into Mars about this time gouging out a crater and causing ground water to rise and transform crustal calcium and sulfur into gypsum. In 2011 the robot rover Opportunity discovered the gypsum indicating the presence of water.
    (SFC, 12/8/11, p.A16)
3.5Bil BC    In 2013 NASA’s Curiosity rover uncovered signs that a lake existed about this time at the Martian equator.
    (SFC, 12/10/13, p.A6)

 2.1Bil BC    A meteorite, dubbed  NWA 7034, blasted to Earth from Mars about this time and landed in the Sahara Desert. Analysis in 2012 revealed that it contained water.
    (SFC, 1/4/13, p.A7)

1.5Bil BP-1Bil BP    On Mars this is the Hesperian period when surface waters had dried up but still lay in large quantities below the surface.
    (SFC, 7/7/97, p.A4)

175 Million    The EETA 79001 meteorite was estimated to be this age and blasted from Mars into space about 600,000 years ago.
    (SFC, 11/1/96, p.A16)

16 Mil BC    A huge asteroid hit Mars and blasted rock into space about this time. The 1984 meteorite labeled Allan Hills (ALH) 84001 was knocked into space and landed in Antarctica around 11,000BC.
    (SFC, 8/7/96, p.A9)(WSJ, 8/7/96, p.A1)(SSFC, 2/19/06, p.M6)

3.9 Million BP Some time before this the hot dynamo core cooled and died. The magnetic core left broad bands of magnetism 20 miles wide and over 1,600 miles long that were discovered by the Mars Global Explorer in 1999.
    (SFC, 4/29/99, p.A6)

600,000BC    The EETA 79001 meteorite was blasted from Mars about this time and contained evidence of "microbial produced methane." Its formation was dated to about 175 million years ago.
    (SFC, 11/1/96, p.A16)

11,000 BC    Martian meteorites landed in Antarctica.
    (SFC, 8/7/96, p.A9)

1345        Mar 20, A conjunction of Saturn, Jupiter and Mars was thought to be the "cause of plague epidemic."
    (MC, 3/20/02)

1609        Johannes Kepler (1571-1630), German astronomer and mathematician, authored “Astronomia Nova.” Written in 1605, but not published until 1609, it discussed how Mars moves in an elliptical orbit.
    (SFC, 10/25/99, p.A4)(Econ, 8/15/09, p.75)(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Johannes_Kepler)

1610        Jan 7, The astronomer Galileo Galilei sighted four of Jupiter's moons. Galileo discovered the 1st 3 Jupiter satellites, Io, Europa & Ganymede. He discovered mountains and valleys on the moon, that Jupiter has a moon of its own, and that the sun has spots which change. Galileo discovered multiple moons around Jupiter. He also observed Mars.
    (V.D.-H.K.p.200)(SFC, 11/5/96, p.A4)(SFC, 11/29/96, p.A16)(AP, 1/7/98)(MC, 1/7/02)

1642        Aug 13, Christian Huygens discovered the Martian south polar cap.
    (MC, 8/13/02)

1842        Feb 26, Camille Flammarion, Mars researcher and popularizer of astronomy, was born.
    (SC, 2/26/02)

1666        Giovanni Domenico Cassini (1625-1712), Italian-born French astronomer, discovered one of the polar ice caps of Mars.

1672        Christian Huygens of Holland discovered the southern polar caps on Mars.

1877        The Italian astronomer, Giovanni Schiaparelli, saw long thin lines on the surface of Mars and called them canali. The term was translated into English as canals.
    (Smith., 8/95, p.71)

1877        Aug 17, Asaph Hall discovered the Mars moon Phobos. Hall of the US Naval Observatory discovered the moons around Mars and named them Deimos (anxiety) and Phobos (fear), Homer’s names for the attendant’s of the god of war.
    (SFC, 11/29/96, p.A16)(SFEC, 4/30/00, Z1 p.6)(SC, 8/17/02)

1892        Camille Flammarion of France explained the changing brightness of features on Mars to seasonal changes of yellow vegetation and shallow seas.
    (SFC, 11/29/96, p.A16)

1894        Percival Lowell (1855-1916), American astronomer, built a private observatory in Flagstaff, Arizona and commenced a decade long series of observations with emphasis on Mars. He "confirmed" water filled canals and proclaimed Mars the home of an advanced civilization.
    (Smith., 8/95, p.72)(SFC, 11/29/96, p.A16)(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Percival_Lowell)

1894        W.W. Campbell and Edward Barnard of Lick Observatory in California detected no water vapor on Mars and said that the canals were optical illusions.
    (SFC, 11/29/96, p.A16)

1906        Percival Lowell, astronomer, published "Mars and Its Canals."
    (NH, 10/96, p.74)(NH, 12/96, p.22)

1907        Dec 28, The WSJ reported on the photographs of Mars by Dr. Lowell at the Lowell Observatory in Arizona. Lowell identified markings in the photos as evidence of great canals constructed for irrigation.
    (WSJ, 12/8/97, p.B1)

1907        Alfred Russel Wallace wrote his book "Is Mars Habitable."
    (NH, 12/96, p.28)

1908        Percival Lowell published the results of his observations of Mars titled: "Mars as the Abode of Life." He recorded no fewer than 180 canals.
    (Smith., 8/95, p.72)(NH, 10/96, p.74)

1948        Wernher von Braun, German rocket physicist, authored “Das Marsproject” (The Mars Project), a technical specification for a manned mission to Mars.
    (Econ, 6/1/13, p.77)

1956        Werner von Braun authored "The Exploration of Mars." It was illustrated by Chesley Bonestell.
    (WSJ, 5/1/01, p.A24)

1962        Feb 5, Sun, Moon, Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter & Saturn aligned within a 16 degree arc.
    (MC, 2/5/02)

1962        Jul 28, Mariner I, launched to Mars, fell into the Atlantic Ocean.
    (SC, 7/28/02)

1964        Nov 5, The Mariner 3 was launched. It failed to reach a trajectory around Mars and ended up in distant orbit around the sun.
    (SFC, 12/8/99, p.A19)

1964        Nov 28, The US Mariner IV space probe was launched from Cape Kennedy on a course to Mars. It later flew by Mars in Jul 1965 and saw craters but no canals.
    (SFEC, 9/28/97, p.A14)(AP, 11/28/97)

1965        Jul 14, The American space probe Mariner 4 flew by Mars and sent back 22 photographs of the planet. These were the 1st images of Mars taken from a spacecraft.
    (AP, 7/14/97)(SFC, 12/8/99, p.A19)

1965        Jul 15, US scientists displayed close-up photographs of the planet Mars taken by "Mariner Four." It passed over Mars at an altitude of 6,000 feet.
    (AP, 7/15/00)

1969        Aug 5, The U.S. space probe Mariner 7 flew by Mars, sending back photographs and scientific data. It returned 127 images of the South Polar icecap and southern hemisphere. Mariner 6 also flew past Mars this year and returned 75 images of the Martian equator along with the surface temperature, atmospheric pressure and composition.
    (AP, 8/5/97)(SFC, 12/8/99, p.A19)

1971        May 19, The Russian Mars 2 Orbiter and Lander made it to Mars but the Lander crashed when braking rockets failed. The orbiter returned late until 1972.
    (SFC, 11/19/96, p.B1)

1971        May 28, The Russian Mars 3 Orbiter and Lander was launched successfully.
    (SFC, 11/19/96, p.B1)

1971        May 30, The American space probe Mariner 9, the first satellite to orbit Mars, blasted off from Cape Kennedy, Fla. It later transmitted photos of dust storms and possible riverbeds.
    (AP, 5/30/97)(SFEC, 9/28/97, p.A14)(HN, 5/30/98)(SFC, 5/20/99, p.A2)

1971        Nov 13, The U.S. space probe Mariner 9 went into orbit around Mars. NASA's Mariner 9 circled Mars and revealed dried beds of rivers that flowed billions of years ago.
    (SFC, 8/7/96, p.A9)(TMC, 1994, p.1971)(AP, 11/13/01)

1971        Dec 2, The Mars 3 landed on Mars and failed after 20 seconds of video data. The orbiter returned data until August 1972.
    (SFC, 11/19/96, p.B1)

1971        The Mars bound Mariner 8 failed during launch.
    (SFC, 12/8/99, p.A19)

1973        Jul 21, The Russian Mars 4 Orbiter braking engine malfunctioned and it failed to go into orbit around Mars.
    (SFC, 11/19/96, p.B1)(http://nssdc.gsfc.nasa.gov/nmc/masterCatalog.do?sc=1973-047A)

1973        Jul 25, Russia launched its Mars 5 Orbiter.

1973        Aug 5, Russia launched its Mars 6 Orbiter.

1973        Aug 9, The Russian Mars 7 Orbiter and lander failed to go into orbit around Mars. The lander missed the planet and both went into solar orbit.
    (SFC, 11/19/96, p.B1)

1974        Feb 12, The Russian Mars 5 Orbiter entered orbit around Mars and relayed imaging data for the Mars 6 & 7 missions.
    (SFC, 11/19/96, p.B1)

1974        Mar 12, The Russian Mars 6 went into orbit and the lander transmitted atmospheric data during descent before failing.
    (SFC, 11/19/96, p.B1)

1975        Aug 20, Viking 1, the first of 2 unmanned Viking landers, was launched from Cape Canaveral, Florida, on a mission to Mars. It reached Mars in the summer of 1976.
    (SFEC, 9/28/97, p.A14)

1976        Jun 19, The US Viking 1 went into Martian orbit after a 10-month flight from earth.

1976        Jul 20, The Viking I robot spacecraft made a successful, first-ever landing on Mars and began taking soil samples.
    (AP, 7/20/97)(HN, 7/20/98)

1976        Aug 7, Scientists in Pasadena, Calif., announced that the Viking 1 spacecraft had found the strongest indications to date of possible life on Mars.
    (AP, 8/7/97)

1976        Sep 3, The unmanned U.S. spacecraft Viking 2 landed on Mars to take the first close-up, color photographs of the planet's surface.
    (AP, 9/3/97)

1978        Jul 25, The Viking 2 Orbiter to Mars was powered down after 706 orbits.

1980        Apr 11, NASA’s Viking 2 Mars Lander ended communications.

1980        Aug 17, The Viking 1 Mars Orbiter was powered down after over 1400 orbits.

1980        The Planetary Society was founded by Carl Sagan, Bruce Murray, and Louis Friedman, as a space advocacy group. The Society is dedicated to the exploration of Mars and the rest of the Solar System, the search for Near Earth Objects, and the search for extraterrestrial life.

1982        Nov 13, The Viking 1 Mars Lander ended communications. The 2 Viking Landers transmitted over 1400 images. Many of these images are also available from NSSDC online and as photographic products.

1982        The results from the Viking experiments give our most complete view of Mars to date. Volcanoes, lava plains, immense canyons, cratered areas, wind-formed features, and evidence of surface water are apparent in the Orbiter images. The planet appears to be divisible into two main regions, northern low plains and southern cratered highlands. Superimposed on these regions are the Tharsis and Elysium bulges, which are high-standing volcanic areas, and Valles Marineris, a system of giant canyons near the equator. The surface material at both landing sites can best be characterized as iron-rich clay. Measured temperatures at the landing sites ranged from 150 to 250 K, with a variation over a given day of 35 to 50 K. Seasonal dust storms, pressure changes, and transport of atmospheric gases between the polar caps were observed. The biology experiment produced no evidence of life at either landing site.

1984        Dec 27, Geologist Roberta Score found the Martian meteorite labeled Allan Hills (ALH) 84001 while snowmobiling in the Antarctic. The 4.5 billion year old rock was knocked of Mars by an asteroid some 16 million years earlier and landed in Antarctica some 13,000 years before Score’s find.
    (PacDis, Winter ’97, p.29)(SSFC, 2/19/06, p.M5)

1988        Jul 12, The PHOBOS 2 Flyby and lander failed within 480 miles of Mar’s moon Phobos.
    (SFC, 11/19/96, p.B1)

1992        Sep 25,  The Mars Observer blasted off on a $980 million mission to the red planet. The probe disappeared just before entering Martian orbit in August 1993.
    (AP, 9/25/97)

1993        Aug 21, In a serious setback for NASA, engineers lost contact with the Mars Observer spacecraft on a $980 million mission. Its fate remains unknown.
    (AP, 8/21/98)(SFC, 12/8/99, p.A19)

1993        Aug 22, NASA engineers continued trying, without success, to re-establish contact with the Mars Observer, a day after losing contact.
    (AP, 8/22/98)

1993        Aug 24, NASA’s Mars Observer, which was supposed to map the surface of Mars, was declared lost.
    (HN, 8/24/99)

1996        Aug 6, NASA scientists presented evidence that a meteorite from Mars (ALH 84001) that was found in Antarctica in 1984 contained organic minerals such as carbonate globules, magnetite, iron sulfide and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons. In 2001 Imre Friedmann (1921-2007), extreme microbiologist, led a team of researchers to study the same meteorite and claimed conclusive evidence that Mars had been teeming with life 3.5 billion years ago.
    (SFC, 8/8/96, p.A6)(Econ, 6/30/07, p.96)

1996        Aug 7, NASA researchers formally presented their case for the existence of life long ago on Mars. [see Aug 6]
    (AP, 8/7/01)

1996        Sep 18, Photos taken of Mars that indicated a huge dust storm near the north pole that was active for months.
    (SFC, 11/5/96, p.A4)

1996        Nov 6, NASA’s Mars Global Surveyor was scheduled for launch. It was supposed to arrive at Mars in Sep, 1997.
    (SFC, 8/8/96, p.A6)(SFC, 11/5/96, p.A4)

1996        Dec 4, The Mars Pathfinder [delayed from Dec 2] was launched from Cape Canaveral on a 310 million-mile odyssey to explore the planet's surface. It had a remote-controlled 22-pound, 6-wheel, roving vehicle to sample Martian soil and rock and send data back beginning on Jul 4, 1997.
    (SFC, 8/8/96,p.A6)(SFC, 11/5/96, p.A4)(SFC, 12/4/96, p.A4)(AP, 12/4/97)

1996        Robert Zubrin authored “The Case for Mars: The Plan to Settle the Red Planet and Why We Must.”
    (WSJ, 12/22/08, p.A17)

1997        Jul 4, The Mars Pathfinder landed and began to broadcast pictures of the red rocky landscape. The landing site was later named the Carl Sagan Memorial Station.
    (SFC, 7/5/97, p.A1)

1997        Jul 6, The rover Sojourner began mankind’s first mobile exploration of Mars. The first rock targeted for examination was named "Barnacle Bill."
    (SFC, 7/7/97, p.A1)

1997        Sep 10, The $250 million Mars Global Surveyor, scheduled to arrive for its 2 year mapping mission, successfully went into orbit around Mars.
    (USAT, 8/29/97, p.12A)(SFC, 9/10/97, p.A4)

1997        Oct 2, Scientists at JPL announced that the Global Surveyor had found the planet to be littered with small but powerful magnetic forces, probably the remnants of an ancient field frozen into the rock surface.
    (SFC, 10/3/97, p.A12)

1997        Oct 7, The last signal from the Pathfinder was received.
    (WSJ, 10/31/97, p.A20)

1998        Sep 16, The first photos of Phobos from the Mars Global Surveyor were reported. Its diameter is 16 miles at the equator and 11 miles pole to pole. Deimos measured 7 miles in diameter.
    (SFC, 9/16/98, p.A9)

1998        Dec 11, The Mars Climate Orbiter blasted off on a 9 ˝ month journey to the Red Planet. The probe disappeared in September 1999, apparently destroyed because scientists had failed to convert English measures to metric values.
    (SFC, 12/11/98, p.D6)(SFC, 12/12/98, p.A10)(AP, 12/11/99)

1999        Jan 3, The Mars Polar Lander was launched. Landing was scheduled for Dec 3 with probes designed to burrow 3 feet into the Mars surface.
    (SFC, 12/11/98, p.D6)(SFC, 1/4/99, p.A2)

1999        Jan, The Deep Space 2 probe was to be launched. It will carry a basketball-size shell to Mars with a lipstick-size microprobe that will drill 6 feet into the soil to test for water.
    (USAT, 8/29/97, p.12A)

1999        May 27, It was reported that the Hellas crater, 6 miles deep and 1,500 miles across, was created early in the history of Mars.
    (SFC, 5/28/99, p.A5)

1999        Sep 23, The $125 million Mars Climate Orbiter was presumed lost after it hit the Martian atmosphere. The crash was later blamed on navigation confusion due to 2 teams using conflicting English and metric units.
    (SFC, 9/24/99, p.A1)(SFC, 10/1/99, p.A1)

1999        Dec 3, The Mars Polar Lander touched down at the Martian South Pole. 2 probes burrowed into the polar surface to test for water and carbon dioxide. NASA failed to make contact with the $165 million lander following setdown.
    (SFC, 1/4/99, p.A2)(SFC, 12/3/99, p.A3)(SFC, 12/4/99, p.A1)

1999        Dec 7, Daniel S. Goldin, NASA administrator, acknowledged the failure of the Mars Polar Lander and planned to appoint an independent committee of experts to examine the Mars program. In 2000 it was determined that a computer signal was misread and caused breaking to stop at 130 feet above the surface.
    (SFC, 12/8/99, p.A1)(WSJ, 3/29/00, p.A1)

2000        Apr, The Deep Space I probe was expected to approach Mars.
    (SFC, 8/28/97, p.A1)

2000        Dec 4, Scientists reported that the Mars Global Surveyor picked up images of sedimentary rocks.
    (SFC, 12/5/00, p.A6)

2001        Jan, Geologist Marc Hauser found a meteorite from Mars in the Oman desert. It was named Sayh al Uhaymir 094 for the region where it was found.
    (SFC, 6/16/01, p.A2)

2001        Apr 7, The $297 million Mars Odyssey was launched and expected to arrive near Mars on Oct 24. A 2-year orbit to map the planet’s chemistry and minerals was planned.
    (SFC, 4/7/01, p.A2)(SSFC, 4/8/01, p.A13)

2001        Oct 23, The $297 million Mars Odyssey spacecraft entered into a stable orbit following a 6-month voyage.
    (SFC, 10/23/01, p.A13)(SFC, 10/24/01, p.C4)

2001        A US Mars ‘01 orbiter and lander was to survey the Martian surface.
    (SFEC, 5/25/97,  p.12)

2001        A Russian Mars ‘01 mission was planned for Mars.
    (SFEC, 5/25/97,  p.12)

2002        Jan 14, It was reported that NASA succeeded in using the Mars atmosphere to brake the Odyssey probe and that observations should commence in Feb.
    (WSJ, 1/14/02, p.A1)

2002        Mar 1, NASA scientists said that vast ice fields had been detected under the surface of Mars with a gamma ray spectrometer on the Odyssey orbiter
    (SFC, 3/2/02, p.A1)

2003        May 22, NASA released the 1st photo of Earth taken from Mars, 86 million miles away. The record distance was a 1990 shot by Voyager 1 from 4 billion miles.
    (WSJ, 5/23/03, p.A1)

2003        Jun 2, Europe's space agency launched a mars probe from Kazakhstan.
    (WSJ, 6/3/03, p.A1)

2003        Jun 10, NASA launched a Mars Exploration Rover named Spirit, the 1st of 2. Spirit arrived on Mars in January 2004.
    (WSJ, 6/11/03, p.A1)(SFC, 6/12/03, p.A1)(AP, 6/10/08)

2003        Jul 7, NASA's 2nd Mars lander, named Opportunity, was launched.
    (SFC, 7/8/03, p.A1)

2003        Aug 27, Mars came within 34,646,437 miles of Earth, its closest in the past 60 millennia.
    (SFC, 8/27/03, p.A1)

2003        Dec 25, The British Beagle 2 spacecraft landed on Mars. The 73-pound lander was launched by the European Space Agency June 2. Contact with the Charles Darwin probe was lost on Dec 26 after it separated from its European Space Agency Mars Express mother ship on Dec 19. The mother ship went into orbit for a planned 2 years of photography. In 2015 scientists found the probe on the surface of Mars.
    (SFC, 12/25/03, p.A1)(SFC, 12/26/03, p.A2)(SFC, 12/27/03, p.A2)(AFP, 1/16/15)

2004        Jan 3, The NASA spacecraft Spirit landed on Mars at the Gusev Crater. It was the 4th successful US landing on Mars.
    (SSFC, 1/4/04, p.A1)(USAT, 1/16/04, p.2A)

2004        Jan 15, The NASA Spirit rover rolled onto the surface of Mars for the first time since the vehicle bounced to a landing nearly two weeks earlier.
    (AP, 1/15/05)

2004        Jan 22, NASA said it lost contact with the Mars spirit rover.
    (WSJ, 1/23/04, p.A1)

2004        Jan 24, NASA's Opportunity rover landed on Mars, arriving at the Red Planet exactly three weeks after its identical twin's landing.
    (AP, 1/24/05)

2004        Jan 25, NASA's Opportunity rover zipped its first pictures of Mars to Earth, delighting and puzzling scientists just hours after the spacecraft bounced to a landing on the opposite side of the red planet from its twin rover, Spirit.
    (AP, 1/25/04)

2004        Jan 30, NASA’s Mars rover Opportunity spied hints of a mineral that typically forms in water, a finding that could mean Mars was once wetter and more hospitable to life.
    (AP, 1/30/05)

2004        Jan 31, The Mars rover Opportunity rolled off its landing pad onto the surface of Mars.
    (SSFC, 2/1/04, p.A1)

2004        Feb 5, NASA restored communications with the Mars Spirit rover.
    (SFC, 2/7/04, p.A3)

2004        Mar 2, NASA scientists reported that the Mars rover Opportunity had discovered evidence that water was once present on the surface.
    (SFC, 3/03/04, p.A2)

2005        Steve Squyres authored “Roving Mars: Spirit, Opportunity and the Exploration of the Red Planet.
    (SSFC, 8/7/05, p.C1)

2005        A US Mars Surveyor was planned to scoop rocks and return them to Earth.
    (SFEC, 5/25/97,  p.12)

2006        Nov 2, NASA lost contact with the Mars Global Surveyor following a successful 10-year mapping mission. Investigators in 2007 said a command sent to a wrong computer address caused a cascade of events that led to loss of power.
    (http://tinyurl.com/y8wtv3)(SFC, 4/14/07, p.A5)

2006        Dec 6, NASA scientists reported evidence of water at 2 Martian craters.
    (SFC, 12/7/06, p.A1)

2007        Mar 15, Scientists said a spacecraft orbiting Mars has scanned huge deposits of water ice at its south pole so plentiful they would blanket the planet in 36 feet of water if they were liquid.
    (Reuters, 3/15/07)

2007        Aug 4, NASA launched its Phoenix Mars Lander, a robotic dirt and ice digger, scheduled to land on Mars on May 25, 2008.
    (SSFC, 8/5/07, p.A10)

2008        May 25, NASA’s Phoenix Mars Lander landed safely in the Vastitas Borealis area and began sending images home after a 10-month, 422 million-mile journey. On May 24, 2010, NASA declared the Phoenix lander officially dead.
    (AP, 5/26/08)(Econ, 5/31/08, p.83)(SFC, 5/25/10, p.A4)

2008        Jun 20, NASA scientists reported that the Mars Phoenix spacecraft had uncovered chunks of ice.
    (SFC, 6/21/08, p.A2)

2008        Sep 29, Scientists reported that NASA's Phoenix spacecraft has discovered evidence of past water at its Martian landing site and spotted falling snow for the first time. Soil experiments revealed the presence of two minerals known to be formed in liquid water. Scientists identified the minerals as calcium carbonate, found in limestone and chalk, and sheet silicate.
    (AP, 9/30/08)

2008        Nov 10, NASA ended the Phoenix Mars mission. The lander last communicated on Nov 2 after more than 5 months on the planet.
    (WSJ, 11/11/08, p.A1)

2008        Nov 26, European ministers pledged euro10 billion ($12.8 billion) to an ambitious list of 30 space missions, including one to put a robotic rover on Mars.
    (AP, 11/26/08)

2009        Mar 31, In Moscow, Russia, the hatch slammed shut behind six volunteers from Europe and Russia who will spend three months isolated in a capsule to simulate conditions for a manned mission to Mars.
    (AFP, 3/31/09)

2009        Jul 14, In Russia 6 men emerged from three months of isolation in Soviet-era metal tubes after completing an experiment simulating a mission to Mars.
    (AP, 7/14/09)

2010        Mar 22, The radio of Spirit, NASA’s Mars rover, fell silent. In 2011 engineers gave up trying to re-establish contact.
    (SFC, 5/26/11, p.A10)

2010        Jun 3, In Russia a male crew of three Russians, a Frenchman, an Italian-Colombian and a Chinese began a 520-day experiment in a windowless capsule, to simulate a 250-day journey to Mars, a 30-day surface exploration phase and 240 days return trip.
    (AP, 6/2/10)

2010        Oct 11, President Obama signed a major NASA act that turns his vision for US space exploration of asteroids and Mars into law.

2011        Jul, A meteor shower dropped rocks from Mars on the ground in Morocco. 15 pounds of the rocks were found in December.
    (SFC, 1/18/12, p.A7)

2011        Aug 4, NASA scientists said they have detected the first clear signs that water may be flowing on Mars. Evidence came from the HiRISE camera aboard the Reconnaissance Orbiter, which has been circling Mars for 5 years.
    (SFC, 8/5/11, p.A11)

2011        Aug 10, NASA said its Mars rover Opportunity reached the rim of a 14-mile-wide crater where it will examine rocks older than any it has seen in its 7 years on the surface of the planet.
    (SFC, 8/11/11, p.A6)

2011        Nov 4, In Russia an international crew of researchers walked out of a set of windowless modules in Moscow after a grueling 520-day simulation of a flight to Mars. The all-male crew consisted of three Russians, a Frenchman, an Italian-Colombian and a Chinese.
    (AP, 11/4/11)

2011        Nov 9, A Russian space probe aiming to land on a Mars moon was stuck circling the Earth after equipment failure. Scientists raced to fire up its engines before the whole thing came crashing down. The unmanned Phobos-Ground craft was successfully launched by a Zenit-2 booster rocket just after midnight. On Dec 2 the European Space Agency said it had abandoned efforts to contact the probe.
    (AP, 11/9/11)(SFC, 12/3/11, p.A2)

2011        Nov 26, NASA launched a rover of "monster truck" proportions toward Mars on an 8˝-month, 354 million-mile journey, the biggest, best equipped robot ever sent to explore another planet. Curiosity will reach Mars next summer.
    (AP, 11/26/11)

2011        Dec 7, US scientists reported strong evidence that water flowed on Mars some 3.5 billion years ago. The evidence was based on the robot rover Opportunity finding a vein of gypsum (calcium sulfate) on the rim of a crater.
    (SFC, 12/8/11, p.A1)

2012        Aug 6, NASA's Mars Science Laboratory and Curiosity rover landed successfully on the Red Planet.
    (AFP, 8/6/12)

2012        Aug 15, India’s PM Manmohan Singh confirmed plans to launch a space probe that will orbit Mars, after press reports that the mission was scheduled to begin late next year.
    (AFP, 8/15/12)

2013        Jan 3, Australian astronomers discovered a comet named C/2013 A1 (Siding Spring). Scientists said it will pass about 50km from Mars on October 19, 2014. On Oct 19 the comet’s closest approach to Mars was about 140,000 km.
    (Econ, 3/9/13, p.80)(Econ, 10/25/14, p.82)

2013        Feb 8, On Mars the Curiosity Rover drilled its first rock sample.
    (SSFC, 2/10/13, p.A2)

2013        Nov 5, India launched its first spacecraft bound for Mars.
    (AP, 11/5/13)

2013        Nov 18, NASA launched the MAVEN spacecraft (Mars Atmosphere and Volatile Evolution) atop an Atlas V-41 rocket at Cape Canaveral.
    (SFC, 11/19/13, p.A7)

2014        Jul 16, The United Arab Emirates announced it will create a space agency with the aim of sending the first Arab unmanned probe to Mars by 2021.
    (AFP, 7/16/14)

2014        Sep 21, NASA’s Maven spacecraft entered orbit around Mars to study the planet’s atmosphere.
    (SFC, 9/23/14, p.A10)

2014        Sep 24, India won Asia's race to Mars when its unmanned Mangalyaan spacecraft successfully entered the Red Planet's orbit after a 10-month journey on a tiny budget.
    (AFP, 9/24/14)

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