Planetary race

August 6th touched the surface of Mars research unit Curiosity. The project MSL (Mars Science Laboratory — Mars Science Laboratory) has caused a lot of enthusiasm on the part of the masses. The excitement about the flight Curiosity can be compared only to that of a reaction to the Russian flights "Lunokhod". For a variety of circumstances, Russian Alliance and Our homeland has not been able to send to the Red Planet propelled research station, but so far our country belongs to many other achievements associated with the "planetary race." Thus, our country is so far leading the number of celestial bodies, which are planted on Russian equipment.

Mars rover Curiosity on Mars

By visiting the heavenly bodies was opened September 14, 1959, when the Russian automatic station "Luna-2" headed for the surface of the Earth's natural satellite and made a hard landing. Scientific equipment, the station was comparable to normal. Yet, during the flight were carried out all the planned research, and the moon was delivered memorable pennant with the coat of arms of the Soviet Union. In addition, the Russian branch gallakticheskaya has once again demonstrated its own potential — to "Moon 2" no unit does not sit on the surface other Planets and satellites. After the "moon-2" to the close of applets in 1977, another 13 Russian automatic stations have gained the lunar surface and carried out a research program from, absolutely or partially. Devices "Luna-17" and "Luna-21" is also known to have delivered a satellite of the Earth propelled research facilities "Lunokhod-1" and "Lunokhod-2", respectively. It should be noted that the "Lunokhod-1" was the world's first planetary rover, which landed on the surface of a celestial body.

The main and the only rival Russian Union in space exploration — the United States — was able to send your extension to the Moon's surface much later. Thus, station Ranger 4 only touched the surface of the satellite in April 62 th. In addition, all devices applets "Ranger" were not intended to myagenkoy landing. They made measurements and the surrounding areas were filming just before the time, until there is a collision with a rigid surface satellite. 1st South American myagenkaya landing on the moon, during which the equipment was not damaged, was accomplished exclusively in 1966. First month of June and the South American Surveyor 1 unit successfully prilunilsya in the crater Flamsteed. It should be noted that here the South American unit failed to become the first — 31 January of the same year Myagenko landing on the satellite did Russian automatic station "Luna-9". As for the self-propelled machinery, in this area too, the Americans fell behind for a few months. First lunar their car LRV, designed to transport astronauts became part of the Apollo 15 expedition equipment and has been tested in real-world criteria only at the end of July 1971, eight months later, the "Lunokhod-1".

As we see, the only "benefit" of the U.S. in the race for the moon only manned missions to the moon. One can argue about the long-term quantitative and high-quality ratio achievements, but it is better to turn to the history of exploration of other celestial bodies, such as Venus. For a number of circumstances, the United States would never consider Venus as a priority gallakticheskih research. Because the first gleam of the automatic station nearby planet was implemented apparatus Russian development. In May 1961, the station "Venus-1" was tyschah about 100 kilometers from the planet. During this step, the flight due to technical reasons there was no communication with the station. Slightly more successful was the flight of the American Mariner 2 stations. In December 1962 it was held at three times the minimum distance from Venus, and was able to collect a number of disk imaging. Namely, there were prepared a number of hypotheses concerning confirmation Venus atmosphere. Starting with "Venera-3", almost all of the programs from Russian vehicles intended for the descent into the atmosphere. But at the time of the creation of the third series of the station was not yet clear a few things about the gaseous envelope of the planet. Because the lander, "Venus-3" pretty quickly was destroyed brutal environment. In such a feature of the upcoming second planet from the Sun were taken into account and to take positive measures to protect equipment descent stations as it can be. Thanks to all of the changes made, "Venera-5" and "Venus-6" in January 1969 could go down to the comparable small height above the surface during descent collecting information on the composition, density, and other characteristics of the Venusian atmosphere. At the same time, they are both destroyed, at about 15-20 km or below. Data transfer was stopped after reaching a height of about 18 km.

First descent to the surface of Venus took place on 15 December the 70th. The lander "Venera-7" held in the atmosphere of the planet about 53 minutes after the signal was lost. Approximately half an hour from now spent on the descent by parachute, then for 20 minutes lander transmitted data about temperature. During the entrance of the Venusian atmosphere has failed telemetry transmitter switch, so that the Earth was leaving only the information about the temperature of the medium. Other sensors apparently functioned, but the signal does not pass. Before 1981, it was sent to Venus has seven automatic stations set up for the descent to the surface. In 1972, "Venus-8" took samples of soil, and in the summer of '75 ninth and tenth series of the station sent to Earth the first black-and-white photos of the surface. In the 81-m station "Venera-13" has produced record sound and color panoramic telephoto with the seat.

We have to admit that the Yankees still managed to put on your own machine surface Venus. In November 1978, the unit of gallakticheskogo Pioneer Venus Multiprobe (uncommon title of "Pioneer-Venus-2") undocked three landers designed for atmospheric research. According to initial plans, the four mini-stations were destroyed in the atmosphere, but one of the vehicles managed to reach the surface of the planet, and about an hour passed information from there. This unexpected turn of events very astonished servants NASA, as a broker for a number of disk imaging of the lower layers of the atmosphere, which were to be taught much later. For a number of circumstances of economic, technical and political nature "Pioneer Venus 2" now is the last automatic machine gallakticheskim South American production, which was intended for research of Venus.

Subsequent to the earth Astronautics became the fourth planetka solar system. It so happened that specifically associated with Mars, a huge number of legends, literary works, etc. But the study the Red Planet was even more difficult than it seemed dreamers and writers. In the case of early Martian applets again was the first Russian Alliance. In October 1960, we launched automatically station "Mars-1960a." Unfortunately, in the fifth minute of the flight there was a failure of equipment, missiles and command has been given to self-destruct. Just a day or four to Baikonur brand new launch vehicle, which was a device "Mars-1960b "almost completely analogous to the previous one. Now start too ended in tragedy — because of problems with engines booster gallaktichesky dev
ice burned up in the atmosphere. The fall of the 62nd was produced two more stations to start the exploration of Mars, one of which was successful. After a certain number of days after the loss of the machine "Mars-1962a" in the Earth's orbit successfully entered the "Mars-1". On the way to Mars, the station has failed a number of systems, which is why the flight was performed programm far not quite. The Earth has gone, only the information which could be obtained by comparable bolshennom distance from Mars.

U.S. kerf in Mars exploration only in 1964. In November, the month to the Red Planet was immediately sent two stations: Mariner Mariner 3 and 4. First at the approach to the target could not throw off the shroud fairing and deploy solar panels. As a result, the device was left without power. In the summer of '65 after "Mariner", which is closer to Mars and took a few photos. Data transmission to Earth lasted until the beginning of October of the same year, when the station went from the "field of view" of ground receiving and transmitting equipment. Currently 3rd and 4th "Mariner" by spinning the heliocentric orbit. Subsequent circled Mars South American machines occurred in the summer of 1969. Automatic stations Mariner 6 and Mariner 7 were nearby planet, measured the number of basic characteristics, also held photography in general difficulty fifth of the surface. After shooting, they also went into a heliocentric orbit.

The descent apparatus station "Mars-3 "

Until that time, all the exploration of Mars came down to sending automated stations that were to fly around the planet. In autumn and winter 1971 study the Red Planet in the end took the form of a true race. With a difference of a few weeks there have been three basic steps. November 14, NASA announced that their station Mariner 9 successfully entered the orbit of Mars. "Mariner-9" was the first gallakticheskim apparatus, which has an artificial satellite of another planet. November 27 of the same year from the Russian automatic station "Mars-2" lander undocked. He had to make a landing on the surface of the planet and carry out a number of research works, which are not possible in the lumen of the past Mars or on its orbit. The main unit "Mars-2" went into orbit of the planet, and the lander began maneuvering for landing. Due to programming errors descent came the collapse: the descent module entered the atmosphere at a very great angle, so that no time to slow down and crashed. In this "original" way lander was the first object on Mars, which has a terrestrial origin. The main body of the station was assigned pennant USSR. December 2 to the orbital station "Mars-3" was dropped second lander. He went to the landing cleanly line movement and performed the first in the history of Myagenko landing on Mars. According to the program there, the lander began transmitting images of the seat pan. For unknown reasons, the picture was a little smudged with prominent lines. After about 15-20 seconds of transmission lander did not transmit a signal. Shutdown and loss of automatic station led to the disruption of the 1st exciting project. On board the two landers were the so-called patency assessment instruments on Mars (prop-M). Small devices (weight of 4.5 kg and measures less than 22-25 cm) were to "walk" on the surface of the Red Planet, using the principle of movement draglines. The task of prop-M was to collect data on the Martian surface temper and permissible loads on her. Due to the collapse of the 1st lander and disable the other prop-M were not planted on the Martian soil and made measurements. It should be noted that for a suitable course of events, mini-rovers would become the first self-propelled machinery on Mars.

Follow-up studies of Mars scientists of both superpowers came with varying success. Success and bad mission followed one after the other, which to a large extent hampered the study of the planet. Immediately, virtually all of the major achievements in the exploration of Mars has been "dismantled". There was only successful project rover. Since the late 80's NASA launched work on the subject. The result was the development of launch rocket Delta II, held on 4 December 1996. Missile payload was apparatus Mars Pathfinder, which came into the lander and rover Sojourner. July 4th of next year, the lander safely landed on the surface of the Red Planet. The result of the mission was the collection of 17 thousand photos of the Martian landscape, and 15 analyzes of the soil.

In January 2004, Mars was "airlifted" outright two self-propelled machine — Spirit and Opportunity. The program of research Mars Exploration Rover, during which the landing was made 2-rovers, consisting of a series of geological analyzes also find evidence of the existence of water on Mars watery. By the time the true purpose of all applets are made, and in addition set a record for the duration of planetary rover. Instead of the originally planned 3 months rover "Spirit" worked for 6 years with superfluous, and "Opportunity" is working so far.

It should be noted that all South American projects rovers were made after the end of the Cool War. This amusing fact there may be several explanations. The most plausible of them for the "pumping" gallakticheskoy industry, which have gained great results already after eliminated the need for constant forestall overseas rivals. In addition, the lack of competition has led to the fact that on board the rover Curiosity are measuring instruments and research equipment, manufactured in various countries, including in Russia. This fact illustrates a trivial point: space exploration should be carried out together all the advanced countries. In addition, as practice shows, joint projects on some strange reason, are a little more successful than their "own."

This approach to the implementation of programs gallakticheskih helps to simplify the work to design and build vehicles. Given the difficulty and overhead delivery of automatic stations on other planets, it would be superfluous. On the other hand, lost the incentive to develop their own projects — joint services may not be as pleasant and helpful in terms of propaganda as their own. At the same time, the constantly increasing price gallakticheskih program leaves no choice. Maybe in the near future in the world is big and tough non-military purpose gallakticheskih projects that will lead the country alone. Because the former merits of times Cool war may be the last historical events that will belong to one country, but not the scientific and technical community. Although we have to admit, it is very nice to think about exactly what your country sent the first man into space, made circled Earth satellite or planet, and the first sent her a automatic station.

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