Search for Soviet Mars 6 Lander
NASA/JPL/University of Arizona

Search for Soviet Mars 6 Lander
ESP_025387_1555  Science Theme: 
Spanish   Portuguese   Italian   Greek   


720p (MP4)  
Listen to the text  


800  1024  
1152  1280  
1440  1600  
1920  2048  


PDF, 11 x 17 in  


The Soviet Mars 6 lander arrived at Mars on 12 March 1974. The descent module entered the atmosphere and the parachute opened at 09:08:32 UT--the craft was collecting and returning data.

Contact with the descent module was lost at 09:11:05 UT, about when expected to encounter the surface.

Because we know that the parachute opened and have some idea where it was headed, we have a chance of locating the hardware on the surface with HiRISE. In fact, an anomalous small bright patch was seen by MRO's Context Camera (CTX) team, which a CTX team member then suggested as a target for HiRISE.

The bright parachutes were the easiest thing to spot on the ground at 5 of the 6 past successful landing sites. In this subimage we see the bright spot at full HiRISE resolution, and it appears to be a patch of relatively bright bedrock, with a pattern of thin lines (fractures) typical of such outcrops.

We'll keep trying to find this and other failed landers, but there is a lot of surface area to cover on Mars and the hardware may be covered by dust and look much like natural features on Mars.

Written by: Alfred McEwen   (15 February 2012)

Click to share this post on Twitter Click to share this post on Facebook Click to share this post on Google+ Click to share this post on Tumblr

 Image Products: All image links are drag & drop for HiView, or click to download
Grayscale: map projected  non-map

IRB color: map projected  non-map

Merged IRB: map projected

Merged RGB: map projected

RGB color: non-map projected

Grayscale: map-projected (773.6 MB)

IRB color: map-projected (445.0 MB)

Grayscale: map-projected  (396.8 MB),
non-map  (391.6 MB)

IRB color: map projected  (110.5 MB)
non-map  (345.4 MB)

Merged IRB: map projected  (196.7 MB)

Merged RGB: map-projected  (185.8 MB)

RGB color: non map-projected  (335.2 MB)

Grayscale label   Color label
Merged IRB label   Merged RGB label
EDR products

About color products (PDF)
HiView main page

 Observation Toolbox
Acquisition date:26 December 2011 Local Mars time: 2:58 PM
Latitude (centered):-24.387° Longitude (East):341.228°
Range to target site:260.1 km (162.5 miles)Original image scale range:26.0 cm/pixel (with 1 x 1 binning) so objects ~78 cm across are resolved
Map projected scale:25 cm/pixel and North is upMap projection:Equirectangular
Emission angle:6.5° Phase angle:57.1°
Solar incidence angle:61°, with the Sun about 29° above the horizon Solar longitude:48.6°, Northern Spring
For non-map projected products:
North azimuth:97° Sub-solar azimuth:46.3°
For map-projected products
North azimuth:270°Sub solar azimuth:219.6°

Context map

Usage Policy
All of the images produced by HiRISE and accessible on this site are within the public domain: there are no restrictions on their usage by anyone in the public, including news or science organizations. We do ask for a credit line where possible: Image: NASA/JPL/University of Arizona
For information about NASA and agency programs on the Web, visit: NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, a division of the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, Calif., manages the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter for NASA's Science Mission Directorate, Washington. Lockheed Martin Space Systems is the prime contractor for the project and built the spacecraft. The HiRISE camera was built by Ball Aerospace and Technology Corporation and is operated by the University of Arizona. The image data were processed using the U.S. Geological Survey’s ISIS3 software.