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Mars: Not Because It is Easy Astrobiology Magazine

Two out of three missions to the red planet have failed. One reason there have been so many losses is that there have been so many attempts. “Mars is a favorite target,” says Dr. Firouz Naderi, manager of the Mars Program Office at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory. “We — the United States and former USSR — have been going to Mars for 40 years. The first time we flew by a planet, it was Mars. The first time we orbited a planet, it was Mars. The first time we landed on a planet it was Mars, and the first time we roved around the surface of a planet, it was Mars. We go there often.” Another reason is that getting to Mars is hard.