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astronautix.com Mars M-69

Mars probe
Mars probe - Mars probe configuration with double reentry vehicles believed planned for the cancelled 1969 or 1975 launch series.

Credit: © Mark Wade. 15,499 bytes. 255 x 364 pixels.



Class: Planetary. Type: Mars. Nation: USSR. Manufacturer: Lavochkin.

Mars probe intended to enter Martian orbit and comprehensively photograph Mars.


Specification


Mars M-69 Chronology


27 March 1969 M-69 s/n 521 Program: Mars. Launch Site: Baikonur . Launch Vehicle: Proton 8K82K / 11S824. FAILURE: T+51s payload shroud failed. Second stage continued but third stage failed to ignite.

Mars probe intended to enter Martian orbit and comprehensively photograph Mars, together with a landing probe.


02 April 1969 M-69 s/n 522 Program: Mars. Launch Site: Baikonur . Launch Vehicle: Proton 8K82K / 11S824. FAILURE: First stage - 1 x RD-253 fire beginning at T+ 0.02 sec, rocket crashed near pad.

Mars probe intended to enter Martian orbit and comprehensively photograph Mars, together with a landing probe. Further Mars launches during the 1969 launch window were cancelled when this attempt resulted in a major accident, which almost wiped out all of the leaders of the space industry. The Proton rocket lifted off, but one engine failed. The vehicle flew at an altitude of 50 m horizontally, finally exploding only a few dozen metres from the launch pad, spraying the whole complex with poisonous propellants that were quickly spread by the wind. Everyone took off in their autos to escape, but which direction to go? Finally it was decided that the launch point was the safest, but this proved to be even more dangerous - the second stage was still intact and liable to explode. The contamination was so bad that there was no way to clean up - the only possibility was just had to wait for rain to wash it away. This didn't happen until the Mars launch window was closed, so the first such probe was not put into space until 1971.



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Last update 12 March 2001.
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© Mark Wade, 2001 .