The next decades was wrought with consistent failures. Finally, in 1997, the Mars Global Surveyor arrived in orbit and sent back modern images and more information. The satellite functioned until 2006 when it rebooted into safe mode.
The same year, the Mars Pathfinder arrived on the surface of Mars. This mission was one of the most successful in NASA history. The Mars Pathfinder was a combination of a lander and a small rover called Sojourner. This gave scientists the ability to move around the planet and conduct a number of experiments on the atmosphere and soil. The mission ended the following year after contact was lost.
In 2001, the Mars Odyssey was placed into orbit around the planet. This continued to map the planet and was the first probe to identify water. NASA now uses this as a satellite to transmit information for landers.
In 2003, three missions were launched. The European Space Agency successfully placed its Mars Express probe into orbit, however, the lander portion the Beagle 2 crashed on impact. NASA landed two more rovers in the same year, known as Spirit and Opportunity. To much public fanfare, the two rovers continue to study a wide variety of the Martian climate, atmosphere and geography.
Another satellite was placed in orbit in 2006, the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter. This conducts a variety of experiments and mapping programs as well as handling simple telecommunications duties.
In 2008, the Phoenix lander arrived on the surface of Mars in the polar region. Completing a variety of experiments, its biggest success was confirming the existence of water.