10 October 1960 - Soviets launch first Mars mission

Mars 1M, Marsnik 1 or Mars 1960A

After the Luna missions had reached the Moon, the next obvious target was to go for the planets. Both Venus and Mars were identified as suitable candidates to explore.

On 10 October 1960, the Soviets launched the Mars 1M (also known as Marsnik 1 or Mars 1960A)

It was an unmanned spacecraft aimed to explore interplanetary space between Earth and Mars and return surface image obtained by a flyby of the planet.

The launch wasn't successful and the spacecraft was destroyed.

A second attempt 4 days later with the Marsnik 2 or Mars 1960B was also a failure.

Both spacecrafts were launched by the Molniya rockets. The third stage malfunctioned which meant that the engines didn't have enough thrust to reach Earth parking orbit.

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