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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 March 7, 2016

Radio Programs

More Mariner 4 Changing the concept of Mars July 13, 2015

Mariner 4 Getting the first good look at Mars July 12, 2015

Mariner 10 at Mercury A first look at a little planet March 28, 2014

More Mariner 2 Destroying a “second Earth” December 13, 2012

Mariner 2 Pioneering a path to another world December 12, 2012

Featured Images

First Eyes on Mars July 13, 2015

Mariner 10 at Mercury

First Encounter March 29, 2014

Artist's concept of Mariner 2 flying past Venus, December 14, 1962

First Encounter December 13, 2012