Mars Madness

Mars is fascinating, so fascinating that FiveThirtyEight is spending a whole month just writing about it. Given that it’s March Madness — and given humanity’s longstanding tradition of hurling robots and cameras at Mars with varying degrees of success, you know, like a free throw — we wanted to figure out the winner of the ultimate Martian bracket.

Seeds and such come later, but for now, merely select the cooler Mars mission or landmark:

Which is the cooler mission or landmark?

Battle: : Mars

Mars Atmosphere and Volatile Evolution (MAVEN) (2013)

Orbiting since Sepember 2014, MAVEN is studying Mars’s climate and habitability to this day.

Mariner 9 (1971)

First spacecraft to orbit another planet. During almost a year it orbit, Mariner 9 took 7,329 images of Mars, including close-up views of its moons.