Red Planet


    In Context 

    Recent study suggested that Mars’ dramatic shift from a warm and wet planet to a cold and dry one may have been chiefly driven by greenhouse gases other than carbon dioxide (CO2).

    Major Highlights of the Study 

    • Missions to the Red Planet have revealed the presence of riverbanks and deltas, evidence that it was once home to rivers and lakes. 
    • Mars’ climate was warm enough for lakes and rivers to develop 3-3.6 billion years ago. 
    • Presently, the atmosphere is too cold and thin to support the existence of liquid water on the surface.

    About Mars 

    • It is the fourth planet from the Sun  and  is a cold desert world. It is half the size of Earth. 
    • It is sometimes called the Red Planet. It’s red because of rusty iron in the ground. 
    • It is also a dynamic planet with seasons, polar ice caps, canyons, extinct volcanoes, and evidence that it was even more active in the past.
    • It has a very thin atmosphere made of carbon dioxide, nitrogen, and argon.
    • There are signs of ancient floods on Mars, but now water mostly exists in icy dirt and thin clouds. 
    • Perseverance rover 
      • It is  the largest, most advanced rover NASA has sent to another world – touched down on Mars on Feb. 18, 2021, after a 203-day journey traversing 293 million miles (472 million kilometres). 
      • The Ingenuity helicopter rode to Mars attached to the belly of Perseverance
      • Data from Perseverance Rover  could help scientists learn more about Mars’ mysterious past.

    Successful Mars Missions

    Nation/ Agency

    • Mars Orbiter


    • Marine series 
    • Viking series 
    • Pathfinder 
    • Rovers: Spirit, Opportunity (2003)
    • Phoenix (2007)
    • Curiosity (2011)
    • Maven (2013-14)
    • Perseverance (2021)

    NASA (USA)

    • Mars Express (2001)

    European Space Agency (EU)

    • Mangalyaan (MOM) (2014)

    ISRO (India)

    • Amal (Hope Mission) (2021)


    • Tianwen 1 (2021)