Fewer than half the missions to Mars make it. There have been 43 robotic missions to Mars from various space agencies. Eighteen have succeeded. Twenty-five have not. And that’s okay. This is not an easy thing to do. This is a hard thing to do. This is one of the hardest things you CAN do.
He sat solemnly. A mostly quiet existence over the eons. But occasionally, rarely, he had a visitor. Often they came uneasily to him.
At first there were those that whizzed by, like a mariner sailing across a dark ocean. Sometimes they saw little, especially when he was going through a stormy period. But sometimes he showed his might. Another came to land like a Viking, took some pictures and collected some dirt. That one made some erroneous measurements, or at least there were erroneous interpretations. That wasn’t his fault.
One sojourned. One blazed the way as a pathfinder. There was that one that came to observe, but instead calculated wrong and zipped onward, never to be seen again, sailing into the dark. A few just crashed spectacularly, with no witness really. And then there were the twins, who roved around. One died early, its spirit departing and the other inopportunely slipped into a coma recently. Curiously, a newer one is still awake.
Finally, for a while, he’d been watching one approach in the distance. What kind of company would this one be? What insights would it discover? Would it survive its long and turbulent trip? Either way, he would greet it like he always does, letting it reveal his secrets to be messaged to his blue sister across the dark ocean. Mars was glad she put in the effort, as difficult as it sometimes seemed.