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Kosmos 419
Kosmos 419 Mission to Mars

Goals: It is widely believed that the primary purpose was to overtake America's Mariner 8 (which, ironically, was unsuccessfully launched 2 days earlier) and become the first spacecraft to orbit Mars.

Accomplishments: None. Launch failure due to human programming error stranded the spacecraft in Earth orbit. It reentered Earth's atmosphere within two days of launch.

Key Dates
10 May 1971:  Launch
Status: Unsuccessful
Fast Facts
Kosmos 419 Facts Soviet scientists abandoned a plan to send a lander with the spacecraft in an effort to beat America's Mariner spacecraft to Mars orbit.

A mission controller entered a firing code in reverse order, stranding the spacecraft in Earth orbit.

The Soviets gave the spacecraft a Kosmos designation -- indicating it was intended for Earth orbit -- to disguise the failure.
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Last Updated: 29 Nov 2010