Mariner Probes

A series of American interplanetary missions. In 1962, Mariner 2 staged the first successful encounter with another planet when it flew past Venus. Its instruments recorded Venus' surface temperature and pressure, and the composition of its atmosphere and the clouds that envelope the planet. The next successful mission in the series, Mariner 4, snapped the first close-range pictures of Mars in 1965. The images revealed a Moon-like landscape. Mariner 9 became the first spacecraft to orbit Mars, and found that the planet has a much more varied and interesting surface than scientists had expected. Mariner 10 flew by Mercury three times in 1974 and 1975, and mapped about half of its battered, Moon-like surface, which is dominated by impact craters. Other successful missions in the series included Mariner 5 to Venus and Mariner 6 and 7 to Mars.

Resources

Mercury Tiny, cratered Mercury is the closest planet to...

Featured Images

Mariner 10 at Mercury
First Encounter Saturday, March 29, 2014
Artist's concept of Mariner 2 flying past Venus, December 14, 1962
First Encounter Thursday, December 13, 2012

Radio Programs

Mariner 10 at Mercury A first look at a little planet Saturday, March 29, 2014
More Mariner 2 Destroying a “second Earth” Friday, December 14, 2012
Mariner 2 Pioneering a path to another world Thursday, December 13, 2012
Mariner 10 Flying past a close neighbor Sunday, March 29, 2009
Mercury in the Evening Getting to know an elusive planet Saturday, January 3, 2009

FacebookTwitterYouTube

©2014 The University of Texas McDonald Observatory