Mars Mission Timeline

Aug. 24, 1993: The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) Mars Observer, which was launched Sept. 25, 1992, arrives at Mars.

November 1994: Russian Mars '94 launch will carry two landers and two surface penetrators.

1996:

1. Russian Mars '96 launch is tentatively scheduled, subject to funding, and will carry a surface rover vehicle and an instrumented balloon.

2. NASA's MESUR (Mars Environmental SURvey) Pathfinder spacecraft launch is scheduled, subject to budget approval, and will land and deploy a small rover vehicle.

3. Japan's Planet-B craft will be launched to orbit Mars.

Beyond 1996:

1. Twelve NASA MESUR landers are expected to form a Mars surface instrument and seismographic network by 2003, if the program is approved.

2. The European Space Agency may send three or four landers to supplement NASA's MESUR network.

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