A Half Century of Martian Invasions

For decades, spacecraft have been flying by, orbiting, and roving across the red planet. Many missions failed, but the successes have been spectacular. Now, with NASA testing a deep-space capsule to help shuttle astronauts to Mars, we look back at the missions that pioneered exploration to the nearby planet.

Since the dawn of the space age, spacecraft have probed the red planet, with flybys, orbiters, landers and now, rovers. Failure, as much as success accompanied these explorations. Once seen as the god of war, Mars now fascinates with tantalizing hints of a watery past, and perhaps alien life, hidden on its ruddy surface.

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