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Tuesday, November 1, 2016
USSR launches Mars 1 probe 1962
The former Soviet Union launched the first of its Mars probes, Mars 1, November 1, 1962. It was intended to perform a flyby of Mars from 6800 miles and until March 1963, it continued to send back large volumes of data on interplanetary space. However, on March 21, 1963 communications ended when (it is assumed) Mars 1's antennae could be oriented to receive commands from Earth.
On June 13, 1963, it made its closest approach to Mars, about 120,000 miles, and then entered a heliocentric orbit.