This mission is dedicated to and inspired by Percival Lowell. To learn more about this pioneer in Martian research, click here.
This mission consisted of an orbiter and a lander. The orbiter and lander were launched atop one Soyuz rocket. A second Soyuz launch carried a Progress M1 upper stage to orbit. The Progress M1 rendezvoused with the probes in a low Earth orbit. The Progress M1 engine was then used as a booster to place the probe on the interplanetary trajectory. The Fregat complex was used to slow the probe into a stable orbit around Mars. To learn more, click here.
After arriving at Mars, the orbiter imaged prospective landing sites in the Tharsis region. After careful review of the sites, a decision was made and the lander capsule separated from the orbiter/Fregat complex. Slowed by parachutes, the lander was successful. The rover drove from the top of the lander and began the study of Mars. For 53 days the rover explored Mars. A variety of topographic features were examined, including dry lake beds and a thermokarst. Numerous fossil remains were located, as well as living specimens of lichens and arthropods. To learn more, click here.