The Mars Mission
"One small step for blockchain, one giant leap for Africa"
AFRICA TO MARS is proud to be the first blockchain organization in educating and encouraging Africa to further it's research about planet Mars. Our keen initiative goes along way by creating more educational programs and funding towards the space program.
Since the earliest days of recorded history, the planet Mars has fascinated human beings. As early as 400 B.C., Babylonian astronomers noted its bright red appearance in the night sky. The name Mars comes from the ancient Romans, who named the planet after their mythological god of war. In 1609 the astronomer Galileo was the first person to observe Mars through a telescope. All observations of Mars were earthbound for thousands of years. However, in the 1960s, that changed when humans began using spacecraft missions to explore the solar system.
Exploration of Mars
The planet Mars has been explored remotely by spacecraft. Probes sent from Earth, beginning in the late 20th century, have yielded a large increase in knowledge about the Martian system, focused primarily on understanding its geology and habitability potential.
Engineering interplanetary journeys is complicated and the exploration of Mars has experienced a high failure rate, especially the early attempts.
Roughly sixty percent of all spacecraft destined for Mars failed before completing their missions and some failed before their observations could begin. Some missions have met with unexpected success, such as the twin Mars Exploration Rovers, Spirit and Opportunity which operated for years beyond their specification.
Human mission proposals
The human exploration of Mars has been an aspiration since the earliest days of modern rocketry; Robert H. Goddard credits the idea of reaching Mars as his own inspiration to study the physics and engineering of space flight. Proposals for human exploration of Mars have been made throughout the history of space exploration; currently there are multiple active plans and programs to put humans on Mars within the next ten to thirty years, both governmental and private.
Highlights From Past Missions
The first stages of Mars missions were flybys. In 1962, the Soviet Union attempted to launch a Mars probe called Sputnik 24, but the spacecraft failed to leave Earth orbit. In 1964, NASA launched Mariner 3 to fly over Mars and send back images; however, there were complications with the outer casing and the spacecraft failed to reach Mars. In 1965, Mariner 4 successfully reached Mars, producing the first close-up images of the planet. NASA successfully launched Mariner 6 and 7 in 1969. In addition to relaying many photographs, they were able to analyze the planet’s surface and atmosphere using remote sensors.
After these short flybys, the second stage of Mars exploration focused on orbiting the planet for longer missions. In early November 1971, NASA’s Mariner 9 was the first spacecraft to enter the orbit of a planet besides Earth. Mariner 9 also took the first high-resolution images of the moons of Mars, Phobos and Deimos. As of 2016, Mariner 9 is still in Martian orbit.
The Soviets were also seeking to explore Mars. In late November 1971, the USSR spacecraft Mars 2 reached orbit and launched a landing probe to the Martian surface, but it crashed. Mars 3 completed the first successful launch of a landing probe on the surface of Mars, but it was able to beam back images only for about 20 seconds. The Russian orbitals, however, were able to send back information for several months.
Mars is a Fascinating Planet
What do the “mudflows” around this crater suggest about the subsurface? Craters can be used to study sub-surface ice and water on Mars.
Could water have flowed freely on a planet that today is dry and frozen? Channels can be used to study the way water flowed on Mars.
Was ancient Mars teeming with early life? The controversial Martian “microfossil” can be used to evaluate the possibility of life on Mars.
How can such a small planet have the solars system’s largest mountain? Martian volcanoes can be used to investigate the presence or absence of plate tectonics.