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Russia's Last Shot at Space

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Science  20 Jun 1997:
Vol. 276, Issue 5320, pp. 1780-1782
DOI: 10.1126/science.276.5320.1780

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MOSCOW-- On 16 November 1996, a Russian-led probe to Mars lifted off. Researchers hoped this ambitious mission would put some pride back in Russia's tattered space science program. But barely 4 hours later, the $300 million Mars '96 mission plummeted back to Earth. While once the Soviet Union and the United States were locked in a breakneck space race where no expense was spared, the loss of the Mars '96 mission has almost put Russia out of the running.