Exploration Missions on Mars
In the contemporary world, there have been numerous missions and these have included the Mars Odyssey, the Mars Express, the Mars Exploration Rovers, the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiters and the Mars Science Laboratories. They have been developed to ensure that further knowledge of the planet is increased and this to such an extent that there is contemplation concerning sending a manned mission to Mars. This report seeks to show the extent to which the recent missions to Mars, especially within the twenty first century, have increased human knowledge concerning this planet and whether they have been successes.
The Mars Odyssey mission is one of the most important in the twenty first century because it was the first successful mission to be launched in the new millennium. The orbiter involved in this mission reached the orbit of Mars in 2001 where it was able, through its gamma ray spectrometer, to detect a significant amount of hydrogen on the Martian surface, which allowed scientists to speculate that there, must be large amounts of water on the planet in the form of ice (Boynton et al, 2004,). Furthermore, its Phoenix lander was instrumental in confirming that Mars indeed had water and that this would allow for the conditions necessary to sustain life. It is essential to note that it was through this mission that scientists were able to determine were able to confirm the presence of water on the planet in the form of ice and it allowed for there to develop speculation concerning whether the ice ever thawed.