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Kind: orbiter and lander

State: Partial failure

Place: Mars

Operator: Soviet Union



Duration: Orbiter:452 days

Mission Ending

Disposal: Decommissioned

Deactivated: August 22, 1972 (1972-08-22) (orbiter)

Last Contact: Last data transmission July 1972


Rocket: Proton-K with Blok D upper stage

Kind: Soviet Union

Mass: Orbiter:3,440 kg (7,580 lb)Lander:1,210 kg (2,670 lb)


"Requesting permission for flyby." Maverick - Top Gun


Reference System: Areocentric

1º Orbit: Mars


Place: Mars

Region: 45°S 202°E / 45°S 202°E / -45, 202 (Mars 3) (predicted)

Date: December 2, 1971 (11 Libra 192 Darian)13:52 UTC SCET (MSD 34809 03:06 AMT)

Component: Mars 3 Lander

Mars 3 was a robotic space probe of the Soviet Mars program, launched May 28, 1971, nine days after its twin spacecraft Mars 2. The probes were identical robotic spacecraft launched by Proton-K rockets with a Blok D upper stage, each consisting of an orbiter and an attached lander. After the Mars 2 lander crashed on the Martian surface, the Mars 3 lander became the first spacecraft to attain a soft landing on Mars, on 2 December 1971. It failed 20 seconds after landing, having transmitted only a gray image with no details. The Mars 2 orbiter and Mars 3 orbiter continued to circle Mars and transmit images back to Earth for another eight months.