"Russian space enthusiasts poring through photos from NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter have spotted what looks like the remains of the Soviet Mars 3 lander that arrived at the Red Planet in 1971.
The Soviet Union lander was the first spacecraft to survive a Mars landing long enough to transmit data back to Earth. However, after transmitting for just 14.5 seconds after landing on Dec. 2, 1971, Mars 3 went dark for unknown reasons."
GDB From United Kingdom, joined May 2001, 12956 posts, RR: 79 Reply 2, posted (8 months 4 days 8 hours ago) and read 3158 times:
I understand that Mars 3 landed in the great planet wide dust storm of 1971, that kept the surface shrouded from Mariner 9 when it approached and entered orbit. (The first surface images as the storm started to clear was the top of Olympus Mons , this vast dead volcano being discovered at this point).
The Soviet probes however could not loiter in orbit, the lander ejection had to happen when it was originally planned, hence it dropped into that storm, that little bit of data it manged to send including the first few lines of a picture.
It's always struck me as Ironic that the USSR always failed with Mars but managed to land and send data back, including images, of the far more hostile Venus.
First in 1975, which if you discount a tiny amount of data from Mars 3, makes it the first ever image from the surface of a planet.
Maybe Venus played to the Soviet strengths, of robustness.
The 1973 Soviet Mars missions were lost as faulty chips in their electronics decayed en route, very unlucky.
The landings on Venus, maybe the USSR's greatest ever space-probes, landed several times but sometimes the environment and bad luck happened then. One in the early 80's landed, but the lens cap melted over the lens before, it was ejected.
One scientist in mission control did not fathom it at first, had it, he wondered, landing in some dark material on the surface?
Another, who had realised what had happened, replied, 'yes, in the shit!'