Mars 2 landing, 1971, artwork

Mars 2 landing, 1971, artwork

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Credit: DETLEV VAN RAVENSWAAY/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Mars 2 lander on the Martian surface, artwork. Mars 2 was an unmanned space probe launched with an identical probe, Mars 3, by the Soviet Union, in 1971. The lander was equipped with television cameras, a mass spectrometer to study atmospheric composition, and devices to measure climatic conditions, mechanical and chemical properties of the surface, and to detect organic materials and signs of life. The lander also had a small Mars 'rover' on board. Unfortunately the descent module containing the lander malfunctioned, and it became the first man-made object to impact the surface of Mars. Before dispatching their landers the Mars 2 and Mars 3 probes were able to transmit images and data. These provided information on the topography, atmosphere,

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