The best (and worst) Mars landings of all time

Reaching Mars is a hard and unforgiving endeavor, with little room for error. A large proportion of the 50-odd missions launched toward Mars have been lost due to failed components, rocket glitches or grievous errors that sent probes crashing into the Martian surface or missing the planet altogether.

Landing missions are especially tricky to the long time delay between Mars and Earth communications, the thin Martian atmosphere, and the fact that spacecraft and their components must survive several months in space before making it to the surface. We have been very lucky with many landing missions, but not all of them made them down.

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