Launched on April 7th, 2001, Mars Odyssey has spent a little over a decade orbiting the Red Planet and has since contributed numerous science results. The orbiter has been collecting groundbreaking data and serving NASA as a key communications relay and it currently holds the record for the longest serving spacecraft at Mars. Many other missions to the Red Planet have been launched since Odyssey was sent into space in 2001 – some failed, some were a success, while others are still ongoing. Let’s see a chronology of Odyssey’s successors and how they fared.
The Mars Exploration Timeline illustrates all expeditions to the Red Planet since the launch of the record-breaking orbiter. Successful expeditions are marked using bright orange flags, red indicates missions that are still active, while the arrow-shaped milestones stand for failed attempts. The Schiaparelli mission is represented by a distinct icon (the diamond) on the timeline because it was not a complete success. The lander crashed, but it managed to achieve its primary goal, returning important data during the first 5 minutes of its landing attempt.
The Mars Exploration timeline was created with Office Timeline, a Microsoft PowerPoint add-in that makes building elegant timelines, Gantt charts and other visuals fast and simple. While the free edition of the add-in is fully functional, Office Timeline Plus comes with more advanced features and customization options, helping users create impressive graphics for business, academic or legal presentations.
The image is free to copy and reproduce for private or public use. To edit or update the timeline, download the Mars Exploration PowerPoint slide here.