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Thursday, May 11, 2017

Mars 3 Orbiter

     Mars 2 and Mars 3 were similar spacecraft sent to mars in early 1971 by Russian Scientists. Both mission carried descent landers and launched with an interval of 9 days. Mars 2 orbiter and lander on 19 May 1971, Mars 3 orbiter and lander on 28 May 1971. Both the orbiter mission was mostly successful returning images back to earth, but the lander mission was failed due to communication lost ( which may have been caused by Martian giant dust storms).

     At first, to design the lander was complex system and how to land lander safely to the mars atmosphere. Finally the lander design and project was undertaken by Viking project specialists of America in 1975. Due to the lack of data about Martian atmosphere Ballistic descent was chosen for the Project-M71.The Mars 3 landing design was completed. The lander was launched on 28 May 1971 with Proton-K rocket (Block-D upper stage)


After few months of travel to Mars, it was successfully inserted to Martian orbit on 2 December 1971 and the descent lander was released form orbiter on 2 Dec 1971 at 09:14 UT 4 hours 35 minutes before reaching mars.Through aerodynamic breaking, parachutes and retrorockets it successfully landed on Mars and began its operations. After 14.5 seconds its transmission from both channels was stopped between earth and the lander and resulted in lander mission failure. This failure may be caused due to powerful dust storms in Martian Surface.

  1. Instrument of automatic control system
  2. Nitrogen Container
  3. Breaking Cone
  4. Radar-altimeter antenna
  5. Parachute instrument module
  6. Antenna ( for communication with Martian Satellite)
  7. Parachute Auxiliary engine
  8. Joint frame
  9. Engine that initiates landing
  10. Engine that controls Pitch and Yaw of lander
  11. Main Parachute
  12. Container of Scientific Instruments
  13. Automatic Martian Station
  14. Instruments of the automatic control system
  15. Engine for the parachute with drawal
  16. Propulsion system for landing
  17. Nitrogen container for control system
  • Mars 3 was successful sending data from December 1971 to March 1972
  • Both the orbiters combined and sent 6o images, which revealed the presence of 22km high mountain, oxygen and hydrogen in upper atmosphere.
  • It found Surface temperature of -110 to 13 deg C, Pressure 6 millibar.
  • It discovered the giant dust storm prevails to an altitude of 7 to 8 km.
  • It gave more information on Martian gravity and Magnetic fields


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