Mars M and M landers

These were the first attempts to soft land on Mars, following the failed 2MV-3 entry probe attempt in 1962 and the landers deleted for mass reasons from the Mars 69 mission. A lander with a Luna 9-style four-petalled opening/righting mechanism was encased in crushable material and delivered by parachute and braking rockets from the entry assembly (Figure 17.4).

Target Objectives

Prime contractor Launch site, vehicle

Launch date Arrival date

Landing site co-ordinates End(s) of mission(s)

Masses Payload experiments


Soft landing on Mars and investigations of the atmosphere and surface NPO Lavochkin (formerly OKB-301) Baikonour, Proton 8K82K/11S824 Mars 2 Mars 3

19/05/1971 28/05/1971

27/11/1971 02/12/1971

Mars 6



Mars 7 09/08/1973 Missed by 1300 km

Impact due to 20 s after start 0.3 s before -targeting error of transmission impact and thus wrong from surface flight path angle 1210 kg descent module containing 350 kg landing capsule Mars 2, 3:

• Payload nearly identical to that of the 6 & 7 landers but the latter had significantly upgraded T, P sensors, mass spectrometer & telephotometry, and were able to transmit data during descent The Project Scientist was Mikhail Ya. Marov

• panoramic telephotometers (stereo pair) (Selivanov)

• accelerometer (Cheremuchina)

• Doppler expt (Kerzhanovich)

• mass spectrometer (Istomin)

• 'automatic laboratory for activation analysis' (XRFS?) (Surkov)

• penetrometer (Kemurdzhian)

• densitometer (Surkov)

The Project Scientist was Mikhail Ya. Marov

Delivery architecture Thermal aspects Power aspects Communications architecture EDL architecture

Landing speed(s) Active operations (deployments, etc

Key references

Separation from orbiter (Mars 2,3) or flyby spacecraft (Mars 6, 7) on approach

Passive control with insulation

Primary batteries

One-way VHF relay via orbiter or flyby spacecraft

Solid rocket motor firing and separation; firing of spin-up motors on 120° aeroshell; drogue and main parachute deployment; entry shell separation; parachute separation and retrorocket firing; crushable material surrounding 4-petalled lander. Descent duration: 250 s (3), 240 s (6)

Opening of petals; deployment of whip antennas; deployment ) of PROP-M tethered walking rover, mast for temperature and wind sensors, and 'automatic laboratory for activation analysis' from one petal

Marov and Petrov, 1973; Kerzhanovich, 1977; Ivanov, 1977; Markov, 1989; Kieffer et al, 1993; Perminov, 1999

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