What if I told you that there is a planet out there inhabited entirely by robots, and not only does the government know about this planet, they were actually the ones who sent the robots there! Because… we are obviously talking about mars.
The dream is closer than you think
But seriously, at the time of recording this video, humanity has attempted to reach the red planet a total of 49 times. Many of those attempts failed, but there were also quite a few success stories.
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The first robot to land on the surface of Mars was a Russian lander named “mars 3” way back in 1971. It was equipped with two video cameras, a variety of measuring tools, and a tiny rover named the “Prop-M”. The little rover was meant to slowly crawl on the surface of mars while taking various measurements, but Unfortunately, the lander only lasted about 110 seconds before shutting down for an unknown reason, and the rover never got to walk on Mars.
Five years later, in 1976, NASA successfully landed The Viking 1 Lander, and, Using its robotic arm, the lander conducted the first-ever analysis of Martian soil and atmosphere. Not long after Viking 1, another lander, named Viking 2, touched down on the martian surface, and it too analyzed the Martian soil and atmosphere, just in a different location.
After those two missions, it took NASA another 21 years to successfully land another robot on Mars. It was called the pathfinder lander, and it was accompanied by the Sojourner rover. This small six-wheeled robot could drive around the martian surface, conduct experiments, and take photographs.
In 2004, NASA managed to land two more robots on mars, named spirit and opportunity. After the success of the tiny Sojourner rover, NASA decided to go big. Each robot weighed 400 pounds and was equipped with various scientific instruments. The rovers had a 90-day mission but ended up lasting a lot longer. Spirit managed to stay functional for six long years and send over 124,000 images until he got stuck in a sandpit.
On the other hand, Opportunity shocked everyone by exceeding all expectations and staying alive for over 14 years! It was finally retired in 2018 when it lost communication during a severe dust storm.
While opportunity was still roaming the planet, NASA sent an even bigger rover to mars. A 2000 pounds “laboratory on wheels” named “Curiosity”. This mini-cooper-sized rover is still driving around the Martian surface today, collecting valuable information about the possibility of life existing on Mars in the distant past.
In 2018 NASA sent another lander to the red planet, named “insight”, This lander studies the planet's seismic activity, and it is also still operational today.
The latest rover sent to Mars by NASA is called “perseverance”. It is the size of an SUV, and it landed in 2021 with the mission of exploring the planet, searching for microbial life, and preparing the ground for future human exploration. In addition, this rover is accompanied by the first-ever robotic drone to fly on a different planet, named “ingenuity”. The drone’s job is to fly up, look around, and plan ideal driving routes for the rover.
And lastly, in 2021, China was able to land its lander on mars, named “Tianwen-1.” (Tee-An-Wen-1), which was accompanied by its own rover named “Zhurong.” (Joo-rong with a soft J). They landed safely on Mars and are conducting experiments and taking pictures of the planet.
It is entirely possible that we will see humans land on Mars in our lifetime, but there is no doubt that any success humans will have on the red planet will be owed to these robotic trailblazers
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