Is there one person who was credited to the discovery of Mars?
Strictly speaking, no one actually discovered Mars. Or, rather, there is no specific person who pointed out that Mars existed. Out of the seven other planets in the solar system, five is visible from the Earth. These five—Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn—have been known to exist ever since the pre-historic era. The fact that these objects were actually planets and just like Earth isn’t known, needless to say. At some point, some astrologers surmised that these planets were stars.
Of course, there were earlier observations of the red planet (named after the god of war in Roman mythology). Perhaps the earliest of these observations were those made by the astronomers of ancient Egypt. On the other hand, the Babylonian astronomers of the Neo-Babylonian Empire already knew that the behavior and positions of the planet. Because of this, they already hypothesized that Mars is farther from the Sun than the Earth and that it takes the planet more time to make a complete circuit around the Sun.
During the third century, Aristotle, the renowned Greek philosopher, noticed that Mars disappeared behind the Moon during what is now known as an occultation. Chinese astronomers have known and written about Mars as early as the fourth century. Continuous probe on Mars is still being done since it is the planet closest to Earth. The Mars Science Laboratory will be the next mission to be sent to the planet, to be launched in 2011.