Mars-2 - the first man-made device that touched the surface of Mars
44 years ago, on November 27, 1971, the first of the devices created by man touched the surface of Mars. It was the descent module of the Soviet automatic interplanetary station Mars-2 . Unfortunately, the world's first attempt at soft landing on the Red Planet ended in failure.
The Mars-2 station consisted of an orbital station and a descent vehicle with an automatic station that was supposed to operate on the surface of Mars. The station was controlled by a navigation system under the control of a computer. The system was oriented in space by the Sun, the Earth and the Canopus star.
The orbital station was equipped with a magnetometer, a radiometer that measured the temperature distribution over the surface of the planet, various photometers to study the topography, surface reflectivity, atmospheric density, etc. Also on board were two photo-television cameras. The descent vehicle from below covered the conical brake screen. The device was equipped with parachutes and a solid fuel engine.
After launching in May 1971 and a six-month flight, the interplanetary station flew up to Mars and the descent module successfully undocked. Unfortunately, he was not able to repeat the success of the Venusian mission - because of a programmer error, the onboard computer did not work correctly. Due to incorrect data, the angle of entry into the atmosphere of the module turned out to be larger than the calculated one - it entered the atmosphere too steeply and did not have time to brake. Having reached the surface, the apparatus crashed.
The orbital station has been operating for more than 8 months, but its operation cannot be called successful either - due to poor telemetry, almost all data has been lost. In general, all the missions of the USSR and Russia to Mars were pursued by some kind of evil rock - not one of them was completely successful. The last attempt was the Phobos-Grunt mission, whose station, due to the failure of the propulsion system, was unable to leave the vicinity of the Earth at all.
But still, “Mars-2” was the first man-made apparatus to touch the surface of Mars. Among the space achievements of the USSR, in addition to the well-known launch of the first satellite and the first man into space, one can recall the following:
- " Luna-1 " the world's first spacecraft, has reached escape velocity to break the pull of the Earth and become an artificial satellite of the Sun.
- " Luna 2 " - the first Soviet automatic interplanetary station (AIS), the world's first station, which has reached the surface of the moon.
- " Moon-3 " - for the first time in the world transmitted images of the far side of the moon to Earth
- " Venus-1 " - the first spacecraft sent to Venus, the first spacecraft in the history of mankind designed to study other planets. He made the first flight near Venus.
- " Venus-3 " - the first earthly apparatus to reach the surface of another planet