Win wristbands to Fisherman's Village Music Festival

Enter to win one of 20 wristbands for the Fisherman's Village Music Festival, May 16-17 in Everett.

Fill out my online form.

*No purchase necessary to enter to win. Winner will be selected by a random drawing and will be notified by phone or email.

The Herald of Everett, Washington
Customer service  |  Subscribe   |   Log in or sign up   |   Advertising information   |   Contact us
HeraldNet on Facebook HeraldNet on Twitter HeraldNet RSS feeds HeraldNet Pinterest HeraldNet Google Plus HeraldNet Youtube
HeraldNet Newsletters  Newsletters: Sign up  Green editions icon Green editions


HeraldNet Headlines
HeraldNet Newsletter Delivered to your inbox each week.

Published: Friday, April 12, 2013, 12:01 a.m.

Have searchers found Soviet Mars lander?

Mars 3 operated for only 15 seconds on the surface before it suddenly stopped communicating.

  • Pictures taken by NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter showing what may be parts of a Soviet spacecraft that landed on Mars in 1971.


    Pictures taken by NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter showing what may be parts of a Soviet spacecraft that landed on Mars in 1971.

LOS ANGELES -- Space fans from Russia scanning NASA images have spotted what may be a Soviet spacecraft that landed on Mars in 1971 and then mysteriously stopped working.
Photos taken by NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter circling the red planet pointed to what may be the Mars 3 lander along with its parachute, heat shield and other hardware that it jettisoned during the descent through the thin Martian atmosphere.
While scientists said the find appeared promising, more follow-up was needed to rule out other possibilities.
Mars 3 operated for only 15 seconds on the Martian surface before it suddenly stopped communicating. It was part of a double mission the Soviet Union launched in 1971. Its twin, Mars 2, crashed.
The Russian space enthusiasts were part of an online group that followed the Curiosity rover, NASA's latest Mars mission. They used crowdsourcing to pore through publicly available archive images and contacted scientists about their find.
Earlier this year, at the group's request, the reconnaissance orbiter passed over the region where Mars 3 was thought to have landed and photographed the site.
While the pictures showed features that appeared consistent with a spacecraft landing, scientists said they could just be rocks or other natural geological formations.
There are future plans to take more pictures and talk to Russian engineers about the mission to get a better idea of the landing process.
There's always the chance that "we may not get a definitive answer," said Alfred McEwen of the University of Arizona, Tucson, who is in charge of the camera aboard the reconnaissance orbiter.
During Curiosity's landing last year, the reconnaissance orbiter was able to locate its parachute, rocket stage and cables that were cast away as the car-size vehicle touched down inside an ancient crater. In that case, engineers knew where Curiosity would land, allowing scientists to direct the spacecraft to be in the right place to capture the landing.
Story tags » Space programs


Share your comments: Log in using your HeraldNet account or your Facebook, Twitter or Disqus profile. Comments that violate the rules are subject to removal. Please see our terms of use. Please note that you must verify your email address for your comments to appear.

You are logged in using your HeraldNet ID. Click here to update your profile. | Log out.

Our new comment system is not supported in IE 7. Please upgrade your browser here.

comments powered by Disqus
digital subscription promo

Subscribe now

Unlimited digital access starting at 99 cents, or included with any print subscription.

HeraldNet Classifieds