While we are on our journey, let me explain something about our mission and Mars itself.

First, why are we going to Mars? We need to look at our Mission Objectives.

We left Earth on a large rocket. We shall call this the LAUNCH  VEHICLE. It lifted us into ORBIT above the ATMOSPHERE of our planet. Up here we are in space and can look down on the EARTH.

The used parts of our launch vehicle are detatched from the Transit Spacecraft, on which our Lander and I, Marti the robot explorer are located. On command from the MISSION CONTROL CENTRE, a small rocket motor fires and we leave orbit around Earth and head for Mars.

We travel on...

...and on.

...and on.

For eight months.

Finally, we approach MARS. It is big and very orange. Near the equator we can see a great canyon that stretches half way round this face of the planet - the Mariner Valley. It is darker than the rest of the planet.

This is where we shall land.

Move forward to landing >>>

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