Just a few weeks ago, we were celebrating one of the greatest technological achievements in human history: the arrival of Curiosity rover on the surface of Mars. One could argue that it’s right up there with the moonwalk of recently departed Neil Armstrong in terms of the awe it inspires. But keep in mind that this is by no means our first mission to Mars.
This illustrated infographic by National Post Graphics charts every man-made vessel we’ve sent toward Mars, from a slew of unsuccessful Russian efforts in the early 1960s to Mariner 4’s historic 1964 fly-by and taking us right up to present day. As Kim Stanley Robinson writes in Red Mars, “we are all the consciousness that Mars has ever had.”
Let’s hope the coming years and decades bring with them more missions, more data, and a more expansive consciousness–all in the name of a better understanding of our place in the universe.