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Mars missions

Many missions have been sent to explore Mars, but only half have been successful due to the significant challenges caused by the Martian atmosphere. Landing safely on Mars requires a creative combination of heat-shielding, rocket-powered descent, and parachutes. NASA's Viking 1 and Viking 2 spacecraft were the first to successfully land and explore the surface of Mars in 1975. These spacecraft were designed to search for signs of life on Mars.

Canadian instruments and expertise are helping us study Mars, our planetary neighbour, to learn more about its rich history and potential for human habitation – setting the stage for crewed missions to explore the red planet. Learn more about these missions below!


The Perseverance rover will seal and store samples on Mars.


The two-part programme takes a closer look at whether life ever existed on Mars.


The first mission to explore the heart of the red planet.

Curiosity and the Mars Science Laboratory mission

A mission designed to find evidence of past conditions that could have supported life.


The first mission to explore the arctic region of Mars.

Mars Sample Return Simulation

An analogue mission designed to test sampling techniques.

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