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2MV-4/1 Mission to Mars

Goals: Stripped of most scientific instruments, this mission -- also known as Sputnik 22 -- was primarily an engineering test flight to send a spacecraft flying past Mars.

Accomplishments: None. An engine malfunction triggered an explosion in Earth orbit, destroying the spacecraft. The largest fragment re-entered Earth's atmosphere five days after launch.

Key Dates
24 Oct 1962:  Launch
Status: Unsuccessful
Fast Facts
2MV-4/1 Facts Launched during the Cuban Missile Crisis, debris from this spacecraft re-entering Earth's atmosphere were momentarily feared to be a nuclear attack.

Up to 24 pieces of the spacecraft were tracked in orbit before they fell back to Earth.

The Soviet Union often did not name failed missions or renamed them to indicate they were intended to orbit the Earth instead of going to another planet.
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Last Updated: 6 Oct 2010