First Mars Missions in the 60s and 70s

Mars is close to Earth in the solar system. Over the years, human beings have been imagining themselves living on another planet other than Earth. This curiosity has led scientists to come up with ways of exploring other planets. Since they did not know what to expect in Mars, Scientists decided not to send people there. The purpose of missions to Mars is to give a better perception of the planet. The researchers have used their knowledge to create devices that could be launched on Mars. Devices launched to Mars were long-standing orbiters which stayed for many years on Mars. Another tool used by scientists was the flyby which assisted them in collecting information in short bursts.

Mars missions in the 60s

Use of Flyby by scientists was successful in 1957. Up to now, four entities have managed to launch devices to Mars. These bodies include Indian Space Research Organization, NASA, the European Space Agency and the Soviet Union. The attempts made to launch spacecraft to Mars in the 1960s include the launch of Marsnik 1 and Marsnik 2. They were spacecraft by the Soviet Union. They, however, failed to get to the Earth’s orbit. Sputnik 22, also by the Soviet Union, was launched as a Mars flyby. They were happy that they made progress because this time round it reached the Earth’s orbit. In 1962, the USSR launched Mars 1, but its radio crashed when the spacecraft did 106 million kilometers. The USA launched Mariner 3. However, the shroud at ITS top refused to abandon. The missions mentioned above were unsuccessful, but the scientists never lost their faith. They continued to build other space crafts.

In 1965, the USA Mariner 4 was the first to fly by Mars. The Mariner 4 managed to transmit twenty-one photographs. The Mariners 6 and 7 when launching on Mars passed through craters. The scientists got the notion of likening Mars to the moon. The scientists received photographs from their Mariner 6 and Mariner 7 respectively. Other unsuccessful trials in the late 1960s include the launch of Mars 1969A by the USSR. It, however, did not reach the Earth’s orbit. Mars 1969B on its part collapsed on its launch while Kosmos 419 only managed to reach the Earth’s orbit.

Mars missions in the 70s

Some attempts were also made in the 70s. Mariner 8 was unsuccessful during its launch. Mars 3 orbiter landed successfully on Mars, and its lander managed to work for a few seconds, but its orbiter worked well. The Mariner 9 images revealed that Mars was filled with dust storms. The scientists also discovered a rift that they later called Valles Marineris. Interestingly, Mars 4 flew past Mars in 1974. Mars 5 reached Mars, but it continued to transmit data for only a few days. Mars 6 landed but failed to send back images due to its landing effect. Marine 7’s lander, unfortunately, missed the planet.

Viking missions were successful. Viking 1 and 2 transmitted their information for years to the scientists. The information assisted the scientists in expanding their knowledge about Mars. Another development of the Viking mission is that it sent the measurements of the Mars atmosphere. The results were that the components of meteorites were similar to those found on Earth. Scientists giving their conclusion said that this proved some meteorites found on Earth were initially from Mars. By the close of the 1970s, researchers had made some progress in understanding Mars thanks to the Viking Missions, Marine 9 and other spacecraft. This was all because these spacecraft were successful in sending back their information to Earth.

Posted on May 22, 2017, 1:40 pm By
Categories: Missions