Mars Pathfinder

The Mars Pathfinder mission featured NASA’s first rover to explore the surface of the Red Planet. With a lander and a separate remote-controlled rover, the pioneering mission demonstrated a number of innovative, economical, and highly effective approaches to spacecraft and planetary mission design. In addition to the engineering feat of landing on Mars with protective airbags for the first time, the mission demonstrated key technologies and concepts for use in future expeditions. It made subsequent Mars rovers – Spirit, Opportunity and Curiosity – possible.