National Aeronautics and Space Administration Logo
Follow this link to skip to the main content NASA Banner
Solar System Exploration
Mars 5
Missions to Mars
 By Target   By Name   By Decade 
Beyond Our Solar System Our Solar System Sun Mercury Venus Moon Earth Mars Dwarf Planets Dwarf Planets Dwarf Planets Asteroids Comets Jupiter Saturn Uranus Neptune Kuiper Belt
Mars 5
Mars 5 Mission to Mars

Mission Type: Orbiter
Launch Vehicle: Proton booster plus upper stage and escape stages, 8K82K + Blok D (Proton-K no. 262-01)
Launch Site: Tyuratam (Baikonur Cosmodrome), USSR, NIIP-5 / launch site 81P
Spacecraft Mass: 3,440 kg
Spacecraft Instruments: 1) atmospheric radio-probing instrument; 2) radio telescope; 3) infrared radiometer; 4) spectrophotometer; 5) narrow-band photometer; 6) narrow-band interference-polarization photometer; 7) imaging system; 8) photometers; 9) two polarimeters; 10) ultraviolet photometer; 11) scattered solar radiation photometer; 12) gamma spectrometer; 13) magnetometer; 14) plasma traps and 15) multichannel electrostatic analyzer
Deep Space Chronicle: A Chronology of Deep Space and Planetary Probes 1958-2000, Monographs in Aerospace History No. 24, by Asif A. Siddiqi

National Space Science Data Center,

Solar System Log by Andrew Wilson, published 1987 by Jane's Publishing Co. Ltd.

Mars 5 was the sister orbiter to Mars 4. After two midcourse corrections on 3 August 1973 and 2 February 1974, Mars 5 successfully fired its main engine at 15:44:25 UT to enter orbit around the planet. Initial orbital parameters were 1,760 x 32,586 kilometers at 35°19'17'' inclination.

Soon after orbital insertion, ground controllers detected the slow depressurization of the main instrument compartment on the orbiter-probably as a result of an impact with a particle during or after orbital insertion. Calculations showed that at the current rate of loss of air, the spacecraft would be operational for approximately three weeks.

Scientists drew up a special accelerated science program that included imaging of the surface at 100 meters resolution. Five imaging sessions between 17 and 26 February 1974 produced a total of 180 frames of 43 usable photographs. Additionally, Mars 5 took five panoramas of the surface. The last communication with Mars 5, when the final panorama was transmitted back to
Earth, took place on 28 February 1974, after which pressure in the spacecraft decreased to below working levels.

Mars 5 photos, some of which were of comparable quality to those of Mariner 9, clearly showed surface features that indicated erosion caused by free- flowing water. Mars 5 was supposed to act as a data relay for the Mars 6 and Mars 7 landers but was obviously unable to do so.

Key Dates
25 Jul 1973:  Launch
12 Feb 1974:  Entered Mars Orbit
Status: Partial Success
Fast Facts
Mars 5 Facts This was a sister spacecraft to Mars 4.

It was the third Soviet spacecraft to orbit Mars.

Scientists planned an accelerated science mission after the spacecraft was damaged by an impact in orbit.
Awards and Recognition   Solar System Exploration Roadmap   Contact Us   Site Map   Print This Page
NASA Official: Kristen Erickson
Advisory: Dr. James Green, Director of Planetary Science
Outreach Manager: Alice Wessen
Curator/Editor: Phil Davis
Science Writers: Courtney O'Connor and Bill Dunford
Producer: Greg Baerg
Webmaster: David Martin
> NASA Science Mission Directorate
> Budgets, Strategic Plans and Accountability Reports
> Equal Employment Opportunity Data
   Posted Pursuant to the No Fear Act
> Information-Dissemination Policies and Inventories
> Freedom of Information Act
> Privacy Policy & Important Notices
> Inspector General Hotline
> Office of the Inspector General
> NASA Communications Policy
> NASA Advisory Council
> Open Government at NASA
Last Updated: 30 Nov 2010