The first attempts to reach Mars began more than 60 years ago, when the former Soviet Union launched two probes to Mars. Both failed to reach Earth orbit. The success of China’s Tianwen-1 and the United Arab Emirates’ Hope orbiter in February, along with the success of the United States’ Perseverance mission means more nations are exploring Mars than at any time in history.
In-service Mars spacecraft
With the arrival of Perseverance on Feb. 18, 2021, Mars has 11 spacecraft in service on or around the planet.
China and the United States are scheduled to deploy additional assets within months.
Success and Failure Rate by Country
The former Soviet Union was the first nation to attempt reaching Mars in 1960, but its first nine attempts failed.
In 1971, the United States achieved a successful flyby, but the Soviet Union was first to land an object on the planet later that year, though contact failed shortly after.
In 1976, NASA’s Viking 1 became the first lander to successfully operate. It lasted more than five years.
Note: Mission attempts are counted by main launch, not segments such as orbiter/lander/rover attempt.