Encyclopedia Astronautica
Mars M1


Russian Mars orbiter. 5 launches, 1996.11.16 (Mars-96 (Mars 8)) to (Mars-96 (Mars 8)).

The Russian Mars 96 mission was designed to send an orbiter, two small autonomous stations, and two surface penetrators to Mars to investigate the evolution and contemporary physics of the planet by studying the physical and chemical processes which took place in the past and which currently take place.

The Mars 96 Orbiter was a 3-axis sun/star stabilized craft based on the Phobos design with two platforms for pointing and stabilizing instruments. The propulsion units were mounted on the bottom and two large solar panels extended out from opposite sides of the craft. The two penetrators were mounted on the bottom by the propulsion system, the two small stations were connected on top of the spacecraft, and a dish antenna extended off one of the sides perpendicular to the solar panels. The Mars 96 spacecraft had a launch mass (including propellant) of 6180 kg. Mars 96 was scheduled to arrive at Mars on 12 September 1997, about 10 months after launch, on a direct trajectory. About 4 to 5 days before arrival the small surface stations would have been released. The orbiter was to go into an elliptical 3-day transfer orbit about Mars, and the two penetrators to descend to the surface during the first month of orbit. The final orbit would have been a 14.77 hour elliptical orbit with a periapsis of 300 km.

The Mars 96 Orbiter carried 12 instruments to study the surface and atmosphere of Mars, 7 instruments to study plasma, fields, and particles, and 3 instruments for astrophysical studies. There were also radio science, a navigation TV camera, and a radiation and dosimetry control complex. The instruments were located directly on the sides of the craft, on one of the two platforms attached to the sides of the craft, or on the edges of the solar panels.

Gross mass: 6,180 kg (13,620 lb).
First Launch: 1996.11.16.
Number: 5 .

More... - Chronology...


Associated Countries
See also
  • Proton The Proton launch vehicle has been the medium-lift workhorse of the Soviet and Russian space programs for over forty years. Although constantly criticized within Russia for its use of toxic and ecologically-damaging storable liquid propellants, it has out-lasted all challengers, and no replacement is in sight. More...

Associated Launch Vehicles
  • Proton The Proton launch vehicle has been the medium-lift workhorse of the Soviet and Russian space programs for over forty years. Although constantly criticized within Russia for its use of toxic and ecologically-damaging storable liquid propellants, it has out-lasted all challengers, and no replacement is in sight. Development of the Proton began in 1962 as a two-stage vehicle that could be used to launch large military payloads or act as a ballistic missile with a 100 megaton nuclear warhead. The ICBM was cancelled in 1965, but development of a three-stage version for the crash program to send a Soviet man around the moon began in 1964. The hurried development caused severe reliability problems in early production. But these were eventually solved, and from the 1970's the Proton was used to launch all Russian space stations, medium- and geosynchronous orbit satellites, and lunar and planetary probes. More...
  • Proton-K/D-2 Russian orbital launch vehicle. This four stage version of the Proton was a modification of the original Block D / 11S824M for launch of late 1980's Lavochkin OKB probes on missions to Mars. Guidance to the Block D-2 stage must be supplied by spacecraft. More...

Associated Manufacturers and Agencies
  • RAKA Russian agency overseeing development of spacecraft. Russian Aviation and Space Agency (Rosaviakosmos), Moscow, Russia. More...
  • Lavochkin Russian manufacturer of rockets and spacecraft. Lavochkin Design Bureau, Moscow, Russia. More...

Associated Programs
  • Mars Soviet Mars probes were intended to photograph Mars on flyby trajectories, followed by Mars orbit, landing, and Phobos reconnaisance missions. Essentially all of the series failed. More...

Bibliography
  • McDowell, Jonathan, Jonathan's Space Home Page (launch records), Harvard University, 1997-present. Web Address when accessed: here.
  • McDowell, Jonathan, Jonathan's Space Report (Internet Newsletter), Harvard University, Weekly, 1989 to Present. Web Address when accessed: here.
  • Kaesmann, Ferdinand, et. al., "Proton - Development of A Russian Launch Vehicle", Journal of the British Interplanetary Society, 1998, Volume 51, page 3.
  • "Na Mars!", Novosti Kosmonavtiki, 1996, Issue 20, page 53.
  • Vladimirov, A, "Tablitsa zapuskov RN 'Proton' i 'Proton K'", Novosti kosmonavtiki, 1998, Issue 10, page 25.
  • McDowell, Jonathan, Launch Log, October 1998. Web Address when accessed: here.
  • National Space Science Center Planetary Page, As of 19 February 1999.. Web Address when accessed: here.
  • NASA Report, 1996 Mars Missions Press Kit, Web Address when accessed: here.

Associated Launch Sites
  • Baikonur Russia's largest cosmodrome, the only one used for manned launches and with facilities for the larger Proton, N1, and Energia launch vehicles. The spaceport ended up on foreign soil after the break-up of Soviet Union. The official designations NIIP-5 and GIK-5 are used in official Soviet histories. It was also universally referred to as Tyuratam by both Soviet military staff and engineers, and the US intelligence agencies. Since the dissolution of the Soviet Union the Russian Federation has insisted on continued use of the old Soviet 'public' name of Baikonur. In its Kazakh (Kazak) version this is rendered Baykonur. More...

Mars M1 Chronology


1996 November 16 - . 20:48 GMT - . Launch Site: Baikonur. Launch Complex: Baikonur LC200/39. LV Family: Proton. Launch Vehicle: Proton-K/D-2. LV Configuration: Proton-K/D-2 392-02. FAILURE: No second Block D-2 ignition.. Failed Stage: 2.
  • Mars-96 (Mars 8) - . Payload: M1 s/n 520. Nation: Russia. Agency: VKS. Program: Mars. Class: Mars. Type: Mars probe. Spacecraft: Mars M1. Decay Date: 1996-11-18 . USAF Sat Cat: 24656 . COSPAR: 1996-064A. Apogee: 340 km (210 mi). Perigee: 110 km (60 mi). Inclination: 51.6000 deg. The Mars 96 spacecraft was launched into Earth orbit, but failed to achieve insertion into Mars cruise trajectory and re-entered the Earth's atmosphere at about 00:45 to 01:30 GMT on 17 November 1996 and crashed within a presumed 320 km by 80 km area which includes parts of the Pacific Ocean, Chile, and Bolivia. The Russian Mars 96 mission was designed to send an orbiter, two small autonomous stations, and two surface penetrators to Mars.
  • Penetrator 1 - . Payload: PN s/n 520/4. Nation: Russia. Agency: VKS. Program: Mars. Spacecraft: Mars M1. COSPAR: 1996-064xx.
  • Penetrator 2 - . Payload: PN s/n 520/5. Nation: Russia. Agency: VKS. Program: Mars. Spacecraft: Mars M1. COSPAR: 1996-064xx.
  • MAS 2 - . Payload: MAS s/n 520/2. Nation: Russia. Agency: VKS. Program: Mars. Spacecraft: Mars M1. COSPAR: 1996-064xx.
  • MAS 1 - . Payload: MAS s/n 520/1. Nation: Russia. Agency: VKS. Program: Mars. Spacecraft: Mars M1. COSPAR: 1996-064xx.

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