Astronomy:List of artificial objects on Mars

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An example of an additional object from a spacecraft landing is the metal shroud ejected by the Viking 2 lander, as seen in this 1977 view of Mars. The shroud covered the surface sampler instrument and could be seen in images taken by the lander while it was active on the surface.[1]

The following table is a partial list of artificial objects on the surface of Mars, consisting of spacecraft which were launched from Earth. Although most are defunct after having served their purpose, the Curiosity rover, the InSight lander, and the Perseverance rover and Ingenuity are all active. China’s “ Tianwen-1” spacecraft is the most recent artificial object to land safely on Mars with Mars 3 and Ingenuity the heaviest and lightest martian spacecraft respectively.

The table does not include smaller objects, such as springs, fragments, parachutes and heat shields. (As of February 2021), there are 14 missions with objects on the surface of Mars. Some of these missions contain multiple spacecraft.

Table of objects

In this listing, it is implied that each mission left debris according to its design. For example, the Schiaparelli EDM lander likely exploded on impact, creating an unknown number of fragments at one location. At another location, there may be a lower heat shield, and at another location, a parachute and upper heat shield. Another example is the counterweights ejected by MSL during its descent. In some cases, the nature and location of this additional debris has been determined and, in other cases, even the location of the main spacecraft has remained unknown. The identification of Beagle 2 after 11 years is one of the greatest breakthroughs yet, since prior to that, it could not be confirmed what had happened.[2] Spacecraft that have not been precisely located include Mars 2, Mars 3, Mars 6, Mars Polar Lander, and the two Deep Space 2 probes.

Key
No data collection
Transmitted data
Operational
Year Agency Mission Object(s) Image Mass (kg) Status Location
1971 USSR Mars 2
1972. Марс-3.jpg
1210 Failure during descent; crashed on surface Estimated at 45°S 313°W / 45°S 313°W / -45; -313 (Mars 2)[3]
1971 USSR Mars 3
1972. Марс-3.jpg
1210 Transmission failure 14.5 seconds after soft landing Estimated at Sirenum Terra

45°S 158°W / 45°S 158°W / -45; -158 (Mars 3)[4]

1973 USSR Mars 6
Mars6.gif
635 Returned corrupted data for 224 seconds during its descent but contact lost before reaching surface[5] Estimated at Margaritifer Terra

23°54′S 19°25′W / 23.90°S 19.42°W / -23.90; -19.42 (Mars 6)[6]

1976 NASA Viking 1 Viking 1 lander
Viking lander model.jpg
657 Operated 2245 sols. Last contact Nov 11, 1982 Chryse Planitia

22°41′49″N 48°13′19″W / 22.697°N 48.222°W / 22.697; -48.222 (Viking 1)[7]

1976 NASA Viking 2 Viking 2 lander
Viking lander model.jpg
657 Operated 1281 sols. Last contact Apr 11, 1980 Utopia Planitia

48°16′08″N 225°59′24″W / 48.269°N 225.990°W / 48.269; -225.990 (Viking 2)[8]

1997 NASA Mars Pathfinder Pathfinder (lander)
Lander and rover drawing.gif
360 Operated 83 sols. Last contact Sep 27, 1997[9] Ares Vallis

19°20′N 33°33′W / 19.33°N 33.55°W / 19.33; -33.55 (Mars Pathfinder and Sojourner)[10][11]

Sojourner (rover) 11.5
1999 NASA Mars Surveyor '98 Mars Polar Lander and

Deep Space 2 (probes)

Mars polar lander.jpg
500 Unknown failure during descent; crashed on surface Estimated at Ultimi Scopuli

76°S 195°W / 76°S 195°W / -76; -195 (Mars Polar Lander and Deep Space 2)

2003 ESA

(United Kingdom )

Mars Express Beagle 2 (lander)
Beagle 2 model at Liverpool Spaceport.jpg
33.2 Landed safely; solar panels failed to deploy Isidis Planitia

11°31′35″N 90°25′46″E / 11.5265°N 90.4295°E / 11.5265; 90.4295 (Beagle 2 landing site)

2004 NASA Mars Exploration Rover Spirit (rover)
NASA Mars Rover.jpg
185 Operated 2210 sols. Last contact Mar 22, 2010 Gusev crater

14°34′18″S 175°28′43″E / 14.5718°S 175.4785°E / -14.5718; 175.4785 (Spirit rover)

Opportunity (rover)
NASA Mars Rover.jpg
185 Operated 5111 sols. Last contact June 10, 2018 Meridiani Planum

1°56′46″S 354°28′24″E / 1.9462°S 354.4734°E / -1.9462; 354.4734 (Opportunity rover)

2008 NASA Phoenix Mars Lander Phoenix (lander)
Pia09344.jpg
350 Operated 155 sols. Last contact Nov 2, 2008 Green Valley in Vastitas Borealis

68°13′N 125°42′W / 68.22°N 125.7°W / 68.22; -125.7 (Phoenix)

2012 NASA Mars Science Laboratory Curiosity (rover)
Curiosity - The Next Mars Rover.jpg
900 Still in operation, 3179 sols Aeolis Palus in Gale Crater

4°35′22″S 137°26′30″E / 4.5895°S 137.4417°E / -4.5895; 137.4417

2016 ESA

Roscosmos

ExoMars 2016 Schiaparelli EDM (lander)
Maquette EDM salon du Bourget 2013 DSC 0192.JPG
577 Crashed on impact; transmitted descent telemetry Meridiani Planum

2°03′S 6°13′W / 2.05°S 6.21°W / -2.05; -6.21 (Schiaparelli EDM lander crash site)

2018 NASA InSight InSight (lander)
PIA22743-Mars-InSightLander-ArtistConcept-20181024.jpg
358 Still in operation, 937 sols Elysium Planitia

4°30′09″N 135°37′24″E / 4.5024°N 135.6234°E / 4.5024; 135.6234 (InSight landing site)

2021 NASA Mars 2020 Perseverance (rover)
Mars 2020 Rover - Artist's Concept.png
1024 Still in operation, 144 sols Jezero crater

18°26′42″N 77°27′04″E / 18.445°N 77.451°E / 18.445; 77.451 (Perseverance landing site)

Ingenuity (helicopter)
PIA23882-MarsHelicopterIngenuity-20200429 (trsp).png
1.8 Still in operation (deployment successful) , 144 sols
2021 CNSA Tianwen-1 Tianwen-1 (lander)
Mars Global Remote Sensing Orbiter and Small Rover at IAC Bremen 2018 02.jpg
? Still in operation, 61 sols Utopia Planitia

25°06′N 109°54′E / 25.1°N 109.9°E / 25.1; 109.9 (Zhurong landing site)

Zhurong (rover) 240 Still in operation (deployment successful) , 61 sols

Examples (surface)

MER-A Spirit rover lander
MER-B Opportunity's heat shield
MSL Curiosity self-portrait, 2016

From orbit

Viking 1 lander in 2006 (HiRise)
Viking 2 lander in 2006 (HiRise)
Phoenix lander and heat-shield in 2009 (HiRise)
Mars Pathfinder seen from space by the MRO HiRISE
MER-B Opportunity lander in Eagle crater (2006)
Beagle 2, after 11 years found and showing that it made it to the surface but did not expand fully to transmit
Curiosity landing remnants
Schiaparelli remnants (2016)

Landing site namings and memorials

Several landing sites have been named, either the spacecraft itself or the landing site:

See also

References