Mars missions: Successes and failures

AP News
Posted: Sep 23, 2014 11:32 PM

NEW DELHI (AP) — Getting a spacecraft to orbit Mars is a complex mission that few countries have attempted, and even fewer have achieved.

The former Soviet Union made the world's first attempt in 1960, but the satellite didn't get far from Earth. The United States had the first successful mission four years later, when a flyby satellite, Mariner 4, beamed 21 images of the red planet's surface back to Earth.

Since then, more than half of the 41 attempts have failed for myriad reasons including rocket malfunction, radio failure, fuel troubles and missed landings.

Here is a breakdown of successful and failed attempts:

U.S.: 15 successful attempts, 4 failures

U.S.S.R.: 2 successful attempts, 14 failures

Russia: 2 failures

European Space Agency: 1 success

Japan: 1 failure

India: 1 success

Source: NASA