MRO completed 40,000 ORBITS on 9 Feb 2015 >>>> Accomplishments > Revealed that Mars is a world more dynamic and diverse than was previously realized. *Gathered data on warm-season flows that are the strongest evidence so far for liquid water. *Increased more than tenfold the number of places surveyed close-up. *Returns more data about Mars every week than all six other active Mars missions. *Found evidence of earlier diverse watery environments *Provided recee on potential landing sites
Possible Mars Mission 'Showstopper': Vision Risks for Astronauts
NASA Seeks Industry Ideas for an Advanced Mars Satellite - http://www.nasa.gov/press-release/nasa-seeks-industry-ideas-for-an-advanced-mars-satellite/#utm_sguid=143683,63b2f4d8-a162-ede1-64cd-f8cc97976cac
Two types of mission plans are opposition class and conjunction class. Hohmann transfer orbits are a common plan. Another mission type is the Crocco flyby. However, typical Mars mission plans have round-trip flight times of 400 to 450 days. A fast Mars mission of 245 days round trip could be possible with on-orbit staging
Since the Viking Mars probes traveled to the red planet back in 1976, NASA has sent several more probes, landers, and rovers to the Martian surface to study the planet’s geology and search for signs of microbial life. But the evidence for life may have been hidden in Viking’s data all along. A new analysis of the data collected by probes Viking 1 and Viking 2 suggest the missions found evidence of microbial life more than three decades ago.
By KENNETH CHANG The ExoMars spacecraft consists of an orbiter that will measure methane and other gases in the Martian atmosphere and a lander that will study dust storms. Published: March 2016 at from NYT Science Article.