Mars 2011 and beyond

Mars 2011

[Mars Science Lab] Launch: 26 November 2011

Mars Science Laboratory

A long duration rover (mobile scientific laboratory) equipped to perform many scientific studies of Mars was launched in November 2011. The primary scientific objectives of the mission are to assess the biological potential of at least one target area, characterize the local geology and geochemistry, investigate planetary processes relevant to habitability, including the role of water, and to characterize the broad spectrum of surface radiation. The mission is planned to last at least one martian year (687 days).

More details on Mars Science Laboratory
Mars Science Laboratory Home Page
Diagram of Mars Science Laboratory
Investigations Chosen for Mars Science Laboratory - 14 December 2004 NASA Press Release

Mars 2013

Launch: 05 November 2013


The Mars Orbiter Mission (MOM) or Mangalyaan (Hindi for "Mars Craft") is designed to study Mars' surface features, morphology, mineralogy, and atmosphere. The spacecraft is equipped with five scientific instruments (camera, thermal IR imaging spectrometer, methane sensor, exospheric neutral composition analyzer, and Lyman-alpha photometer) and will nominally spend 6-10 months orbiting and making measurements at Mars.

Mangalyaan Home Page (ISRO)

Launch: 18 November 2013


The Mars Atmospheric and Volatile EvolutioN (MAVEN) is the second NASA Mars Scout mission. It is designed to study the martian upper atmosphere and ionosphere from orbit to determine the loss of volatile compounds to space and its role in the evolution of the atmosphere of Mars. It will carry three instrument packages, a particles and fields package, a remote sensing package, and a neutral gas and ion mass spectrometer.

MAVEN Home Page

Mars 2018

Launch Period: 2018


InSight (Interior Exploration using Seismic Investigations, Geodesy and Heat Transport) is a NASA Discovery lander designed to study Mars' deep interior. The lander will be equipped with two primary instruments: the Seismic Experiment for Interior Structure (SEIS) and the Heat Flow and Physical Properties Package (HP3). It will also use the communications system to precisely measure the planetary rotation, an effort called the Rotation and Interior Structure Experiment (RISE). The landing is scheduled for September 2016, the mission is planned to last until September 2018.

InSight Home Page

Future Mars Opportunities

[Mars Sample Return] In the future, NASA plans additional science orbiters, rovers and landers, and potentially the first mission to return the most promising Martian samples to Earth. Technology development for advanced capabilities such as miniaturized surface science instruments and deep drilling to several hundred feet will also be carried out in this period.

NASA's First Scout Mission Selected for 2007 Launch - 4 August 2003 Press Release
NASA Selects Four Mars Scout Missions for Study - 6 December 2002 Press Release
Mars Scout Concepts Selected for Future Study - 13 June 2001 Press Release
Mars Exploration Program for Next Two Decades - 26 October 2000 Press Release
NASA Decides to send Two Rovers to Mars in 2003 - 10 August 2000 Press Release
Rover Option Chosen for Mars 2003 Mission - 27 July 2000 Press Release
Two Options Identified for Mars 2003 Mission - 12 May 2000 Press Release
Athena Home Page - Cornell
Mars Home Page
Mars Fact Sheet

Other Missions to Mars

Viking - NASA Orbiters/Landers to Mars (1975)
Mars Pathfinder - NASA Lander and Rover Mission to Mars (1996)
Mars Global Surveyor - NASA Mars Orbiter (1996)
Mars Climate Orbiter - NASA Orbiter Mission to Mars (1998)
Mars Polar Lander - NASA Lander Mission to Mars (1999)
New Millenium Deep Space 2 - NASA Penetrator Mission to Mars (1999)
2001 Mars Odyssey - NASA Orbiter Mission to Mars (2001)
Mars Exploration Rovers - NASA Rover Missions to Mars (2003)
Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter - NASA Orbiter Mission to Mars (2005)

Dr. David R. Williams,
NSSDCA, Mail Code 690.1
NASA Goddard Space Flight Center
Greenbelt, MD 20771

NASA Official: Ed Grayzeck,
Last Updated: 08 February 2016, DRW