Exploration MissionsMain article: Exploration of Mars
In addition to observation from Earth, some of the latest Mars information comes from five active probes on or in orbit around Mars including three orbiters and two rovers. This includes 2001 Mars Odyssey, Mars Express, Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter, Opportunity rover, and Curiosity rover.
Dozens of unmanned spacecraft, including orbiters, landers, and rovers, have been sent to Mars by the Soviet Union, the United States, Europe, and Japan to study the planet's surface, climate, and geology. The public can request images of Mars via the HiWish program.
The Mars Science Laboratory, named Curiosity, launched on November 26, 2011, reached Mars on August 6, 2012 UTC. It is larger and more advanced than the Mars Exploration Rovers, with a movement rate up to 90 m (300 ft) per hour. Experiments include a laser chemical sampler that can deduce the make-up of rocks at a distance of 7 m (23 ft).
Read more about this topic: Mars
Famous quotes containing the words missions and/or exploration:
“There was only one catch and that was Catch-22, which specified that a concern for ones own safety in the face of dangers that were real and immediate was the process of a rational mind.... Orr would be crazy to fly more missions and sane if he didnt, but if he was sane he had to fly them. If he flew them he was crazy and didnt have to; but if he didnt want to he was sane and had to.”
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