2015 marks 50 years of successful NASA missions to Mars starting with Mariner 4 in 1965. Since then, a total of 15 robotic missions led by various NASA centres have laid the groundwork for future human missions to the Red Planet. The journey to Mars continues with additional robotic missions planned for 2016 and 2020, and human missions in the 2030s.
VOICE: Hey. There we go. There she goes. That’s data.
ANNOUNCER: There’s some sort of pattern to the data, and we have now full confidence that this does indeed correspond to a photograph of Mars.
TITLE: NASA’s Journey to Mars
TITLE: Mariner 4, 1965
VOICE 1: Upon preliminary analysis of this data, can you describe what you see on Mars?
VOICE 2: Yes, it’s there!
TITLE: Mariners 6 & 7, 1969
TITLE: Mariner 9, 1971
TITLE: Vikings 1 & 2, 1976
TITLE: Mars Global Surveyor, 1996
TITLE: Mars Pathfinder, 1996
TITLE: Mars Odyssey, 2001
TITLE: Mars Exploration Rovers, 2003
VOICE: The rover has landed base pedal down, which means right side up.
TITLE: Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter, 2005
TITLE: Phoenix Lander, 2008
ANNOUNCER: 50 metres. 30 metres. 27 metres. 20 metres. 16 metres. Standing by for touchdown.
TITLE: Curiosity, 2012
NASA ADMINISTRATOR CHARLES BOLDEN: Led by the extraordinary men and women of NASA and our Jet Propulsion Laboratory, right now, the wheels of Curiosity have begun to blaze the trail for human footprints on Mars.
JOHN HOLDREN, White House Office of Science and Technology Policy: Well, today on Mars, history was made on Earth. The successful landing of Curiosity will stand as an American point of pride far into the future.
PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: I just wanted to call and say congratulations to the Mars Science Laboratory team and, really, all of JPL. You guys should be remarkably proud.