This image shows a portion of the Martian terrain and the forward ramp of the Mars Pathfinder lander.
Click on image for full size
The Mars Surveyor Program
When Mars Observer
blew up, the Mars Surveyor Program was born.
The Surveyor Program was suppose to consist of 8 spacecraft. The spacecraft were named:
Mars Pathfinder, Mars Global Surveyor, Mars '98, Mars 2001, Mars 2003, and Mars 2005.
The Pathfinder mission was a huge success. And the Mars Global Surveyor is still taking measurements. But, the Mars '98 Orbiter and Lander were lost in space!
So, NASA ended the Mars Surveyor program. They took some time to rethink things. Then, in 2000, NASA announced a new Mars Exploration Program. This new program started with the Mars Odyssey 2001 mission which was launched in April 2001. It also includes rovers and a sample return mission in the next 10 years. A sample return mission is where rocks and dirt would be brought back to Earth from the surface of Mars. Cool!
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