Space enthusiasts may have found Mars-3, the Soviet probe that mysteriously vanished 42 years ago after landing on red planet

Originally posted on National Post | News:

NASA/JPL-Caltech/Univ. of Arizona

NASA/JPL-Caltech/Univ. of Arizona

National Post Graphics

National Post Graphics

A group of Russian space enthusiasts may have found the location of the first space probe ever to land on Mars, the 42-year-old Mars-3.

In a post Thursday, NASA highlighted pictures taken from the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter near the location of the Curiosity rover.

“In 1971, the former Soviet Union launched the Mars 2 and Mars 3 missions to Mars. Each consisted of an orbiter plus a lander,” NASA said. “Both orbiter missions succeeded, although the surface of Mars was obscured by a planet-encircling dust storm. The Mars 2 lander crashed. Mars 3 became the first successful soft landing on the Red Planet, but stopped transmitting after just 14.5 seconds for unknown reasons.”

The Russian group, which comes together online as a Mars Curiosity Rover community, started searching through images from the High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment (HiRISE) camera on the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter. Through crowdsourcing…

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