Developer: NPO Lavochkin
Manufacturer: Moscow Experimental Factory of Visual Aids
Made in: Moscow, USSR
Dimensions: 480 × 370 × 730 mm
Weight: 9.5 kg
Materials: steel, plastic
Tags: cosmos, birthofnewage, polytech, space
Mars 3 was an unmanned space probe of the Soviet Mars program which spanned the years between 1960 and 1973. This station belongs to the fourth generation of the Soviet Mars program. It was developed by the design bureau of the Lavochkin machine-building plant in Khimki between the late 1960s and early 1970s. It was designed to study the surface of Mars both from the orbit and the lander. The launch was held on May 28, 1971. The station traveled to the Earth’s orbit and then was placed on a trajectory to Mars by an additional upper stage. After 6 months, on December 2, 1971, for the first time in history, the module soft-landed on the surface of Mars. However, the data transmission to Earth lasted only 14.5 seconds, after which it stopped for unknown reasons. Several assumptions were made, but the most probable explanations are the obiter’s withdrawal from the zone of visibility of the lander and the impact of dust storms, which lasted for more than four months. However, despite the small amount of the transmitted data, the Soviet Mars-3 was the world’s first space device that softly landed on Mars.