19.05.

1971: A Communist Probe – the First Human Object on Mars

1971: A Communist Probe – the First Human Object on Mars
Photo Credit To http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/1/13/Mars3_iki.jpg

The Mars 2 weighted 4650 pounds. When the Soviets landed on Mars, they surpassed the Americans, and became the first people who conquered the “Red Planet”.

On this day in 1971, Mars 2 was launched by the Soviet Union, and became the first man-made object to reach the surface of Mars. Therefore, the Soviets surpassed the Americans, who launched their first space probe in 1976.

The Mars 2 weighted 4650 pounds (like a small truck), and was launched by a Proton-K heavy launch vehicle, from the Baikonur Cosmodrome. The probe traveled from Earth to Mars for more than six months (6 months and 8 days).

However, since it was the time of the space race, the Americans also launched their probe, Mariner 9 which actually overtook Mars 2, and became the first spacecraft to orbit another planet. When Mars 2 and Mariner 9 orbited Mars, the largest sandstorm occurred there, and the surface of the planet was not visible.

Despite the sandstorm, Mars 2 immediately sent its landing module to the planet’s surface, which crashed on Mars’s southern hemisphere, near the mountain known as Hellespontus Montes. Despite this unsuccessful landing, it was the first man-made object to reach the surface of Mars. Just five days later, a module of the other Soviet probe, Mars 3, landed on the surface of Mars. Therefore, the Soviets became the first people who conquered the “Red Planet”.

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