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Mars 2

The Soviet Mars 2 and Mars 3 missions consisted of identical spacecraft, each with a bus/orbiter module and an attached descent/lander module. The primary scientific objectives of the Mars 2 orbiter were to image the martian surface and clouds, determine the temperature on Mars; study the topography, composition, and physical properties of the surface; measure properties of the atmosphere; monitor the solar wind and the interplanetary and martian magnetic fields; and act as a communications relay to send signals from the lander to Earth.

Mars 2 was launched towards Mars from a Tyazheliy Sputnik Earth orbiting platform. Mars 2 released its descent module 4 1/2 hours before reaching Mars on November 27, 1971. The descent module entered the martian atmosphere at a steeper angle than planned. The descent system malfunctioned and the lander crashed. The Mars 2 and 3 orbiters sent back a large volume of data from December, 1971, to March, 1972.

References:

  • Mars (Miscellaneous)

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