The 2MV-3 probe, which would have been named Mars after successful launch, was an attempted Mars lander mission launched in the same launch window as the two Mars flyby probes of the 2MV-4 type. The Molniya launcher put the spacecraft and the attached booster upper stage into a 197 × 590 km Earth orbit with an inclination of 64.7 degrees. The total mass of the booster/spacecraft complex (the Tyazheliy Sputnik) was roughly 6500 kg, the Mars spacecraft component comprising about 890 kg of this.
The complex broke up during the burn to transfer to Mars trajectory. Five large pieces were tracked by the U.S. Ballistic Missile Early Warning System. The geocentric orbit of the presumed booster decayed on 25 December 1962 and the Mars spacecraft orbit decayed and it re-entered Earth's atmosphere on 19 January 1963.
|Type / Application:||Mars lander|
|Mars (2a) (2MV-3 #1, Sputnik 24)||1962 βξ 1||04.11.1962||TB LC-1/5||P||Molniya|