Mission Curiosity

A Key Step on Our Path Toward Humans Walking on The Surface of Mars

We at Explore Mars expect the MSL Curiosity mission to be an important step in understanding whether Mars ever sustained life.

However, Curiosity is not an isolated mission. It is a continuation of an historic series of missions.

We all remember the first Mars rover, Sojourner, of the Mars Pathfinder mission, that landed on the 4th of July in 1997. The Mars Global Surveyor and other orbiters revealed to us that Mars was far more dynamic than had originally been believed – showing evidence of even recent outflows of liquid water on the surface of Mars.

The extraordinary twin Mars Exploration Rovers of 2004, Spirit and Opportunity, outlived their predicted lifespans by multiple years (Opportunity is still operational). True, Mars is hard to reach and there have been failures along the way, but we continued forward and as a result Mars has proven that it has been well worth the effort.

We are now approaching one of the most important and exciting chapters in this Mars exploration story. All previous missions have been leading up to the phase we are about to enter in space exploration.

A robotic Mars Sample Return (bringing actual physical samples back to Earth) should be executed by the end of this decade, and we also should start preparing for a human mission to reach Mars by 2030. It is likely that many of the key questions that we have been searching for – has life ever existed on Mars? Can humans one day live on Mars? – will be definitively answered when we enter this next phase.

Daily Briefing

  • Chris Carberry: One Year of Curiosity - Are We Any Closer to Sending Humans to Mars?...

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  • Read the results of a national opinion poll about human and robotic exploration of Mars....

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  • Learn about the Humans to Mars Summit and watch the live webcast on May 6-8, 2013!...

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  • Has Curiosity found clues to life's building blocks on Mars?...

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  • As we all expected one of the Mars satellites imaged the area where Curiosity landed in greater detail...

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  • Bill Nye’s reaction to the Rover’s landing as he watches it from PlanetFest in California...

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  • Christopher Carberry, head of a Beverly-based nonprofit organization pushing for human exploration of Mars by 2030, was in Pasadena, CA...

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  • It's time for NASA to set its sight on sending a human to the red planet...

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  • Jeff Horwich interviewing Chris Carberry, Executive Director of Explore Mars, on his thoughts on the future of Mars expeditions...

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  • 'Landing Parties “See we’re not all geeks” '...

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  • Image of descending Curiosity by HiRISE on MRO
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  • T-0 Days: Landing - Today is the day! Will the landing be successful? Go Curiosity!...

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  • Chris Carberry blog in Huffington Post: "Humans on Mars by 2030 can and should be our next goal."...

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  • T-1 Days: Entry, Descent and Landing ...

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  • T-2 Days: Navigation - Each rover we send to Mars is more autonomous in its navigation than the previous rovers...

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  • Explore Mars' Chris Carberry spoke on NPR's Morning Edition about excitement around Curiosity's landing...

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  • Forbes' Alex Knapp on the upcoming landing of the Mars Probe Curiosity...

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  • T-3 Days: Communications and its importance on the 23 month mission. Without communications no mission; it is a simple as that...

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  • T-4 Days: Analysis of the Curiosity rover wheels and the necessary power to allow the rover to travel across the rough Mars terrain...

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  • T-5 Days: New possibilities of a more hospitable Martian past have emerged...

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  • NPR's Diane Rehm: The U.S. Mission To Mars. Get Curious at 45:20!...

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  • "Mars Rock" lands at Houston City Hall...

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  • The Martian Invasion starts with "7 Minutes of Terror" Aug 5 2012 at Space Center Houston Landing Party...

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  • We could not drive large distances with the first mars rover; scientists named the first rock Sojourner visited “Yogi.”...

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  • Landing in 1997, a bouncing method of airbags was used to land Mars Pathfinder after having been slowed with a parachute. ...

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  • Humans on Mars by 2030! Join Explore Mars and the George Washington Univ. Space Policy Institute at the 2013 Humans to Mars Summit ...

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  • We are not living in ordinary times, and the stakes have never been higher for a Mars landing ......

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  • That’s a long tail! The giant dust-evil plume shown in this late-springtime photo of the Martian landscape of Amazonis Planitia is 1.5 mile high. ...

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