You can experience a staggering 20 years of exploring Mars in one three minute video that is truly breathtaking.
If you’re interested at all in Mars, you should drop everything and watch this astonishing three-minute, 20-second video from NASA detailing the last 20 years of our incredible exploits on the Red Planet. The video is embedded at the bottom of this post.
NASA has been probing the surface of Mars every single day for the last two decades now, and the agency decided to condense it all into one short video. It all begins with the first successful mission to Mars, the landing of NASA’s Pathfinder on July 4, 1997, with the Sojourner rover on board. The rover stopped communicating a little less than three months later, but it was still an incredible achievement for mankind, and harbinger of many great accomplishments to come.
“No one under 20 has experienced a day without NASA at Mars,” NASA said in a caption to the video. “The Pathfinder mission, carrying the Sojourner rover, landed on Mars on July 4, 1997. In the 20 years since Pathfinder’s touchdown, eight other NASA landers and orbiters have arrived successfully, and not a day has passed without the United States having at least one active robot on Mars or in orbit around Mars.”
Mars’ fascinating history is what makes this planet such an object of fascination for the agency.
“Early Mars offered watery environmental conditions with all the chemical ingredients needed for life and with a chemical energy source of a type used by many microbes on Earth,” a NASA statement reads. “Diverse types of wet environments that may have been favorable for microbes existed in many locations on early Mars, including lakes, rivers, hot springs and underground water. Mars lost much of its original atmosphere early in the planet’s history. Modern Mars holds vast reservoirs of frozen water accessible underground at middle and high latitudes, a valuable resource for future human explorers. Many fresh meteor impacts, documented by before-and-after images, have revealed ice an arm’s reach or so beneath the surface.”