Mars - The Conquest of a dream


Visible like few other spots in the starry night, due to its brightness and orange tint, Mars has inspired the curiosity of wise men and ordinary people since antiquity.
Besides being our nearest neighbour in the solar system, the reasons why we’ve always wanted to go to Mars are based on both scientific and existential issues. In the past centuries, the retrograde movement of Mars represented a disconcerting challenge for astronomers. Without doubts, Mars seems to be one of the best positioned planetary candidates to host or have hosted some type of biological life. To find out if life ever arose on Mars to then maybe disappear later, or to discover if life could have reached Earth from another planet is part of what makes Mars a unique candidate for exploration.
The impact of Mars on culture (cinema, music, literature, etc.) and the evolution of the concept of Martians is huge.

Towards Mars – summary of the challenge

 

On 14 July 1965, the Mariner 4 probe put an end to centuries of speculation about the red planet: the photographs it transmitted depicted an inhospitable and hostile Mars, devoid of life. However, while the idea of strange green beings started to become blurry, a dream of even greater proportions was
born: walking on Mars.


During the first missions, the probes were only able to perform flyovers, as they tried to take as many photographs as possible as they passed by the planet. Technological advancements saw probes beginning to enter into orbit around Mars, enabling a more extended period of study.
 

The next step was a “Mars landing” on the surface. At present, it is not only possible to land artefacts on Mars, but they can move around on the surface of the planet for years.


The clear photographs from the Spirit and Opportunity vehicles allowed us to feel like we were there. Thanks to the Phoenix mission, we were able to descend several centimetres below the surface and the robot Curiosity - the heaviest human-made object successfully deposited on Mars! surface— shared with us its selfie.

 

Some people foresee sending the first manned mission to Mars sometime in the 2030 decade, while other still consider this an impossible feat.

Scientific Partner


  • Esa
  • Valenciana
  • Inaf
  • Fundacion Telefonica