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