Other than Earth, no planet in the solar system has been so thoroughly or long examined as Mars. For more than two decades now, NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory has continuously explored the Red Planet with an array of orbiters, landers, and rovers. What laid the groundwork for this unparalleled record of exploration? This episode describes the challenges of JPL’s first attempts to send spacecraft to the Red Planet. Part of the "JPL and the Space Age" series. Please note this title contains potentially offensive language.