Mars 3, the Soviet Union’s third Mars lander, identical to Mars 2 © Sovfoto/UIG via Getty Images
1971 - Mars 2 descent module crashes onto the surface of Mars
The Soviet space probe Mars 2’s descent module fails to open its parachute and crashes into the red planet becoming the first man-made object to impact the surface of Mars. The Mars 2 space probe entered the atmosphere of Mars around four hours before it crashed at a speed of approximately 6km/s. Designed by the Soviet Union in the early 1970s, there were many attempts to contact the probe after the crash however they were all unsuccessful.
2001 - An atmosphere discovered on the extrasolar planet Osiris
The Hubble Space Telescope detects sodium, the first planetary atmosphere identified outside our Solar System to be measured. After further studies it is concluded the atmosphere is actually predominantly hydrogen, also containing carbon and oxygen. The planet Osiris, where the atmosphere was found, is an exoplanet that orbits the solar analog HD209458 in the constellation Pegasus. A solar analog is a star that is particularly similar to the Sun. The radius of Osiris’s orbit is around seven million kilometres resulting in a year lasting around 3.5 Earth days.
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