By Maya Colter
The Mariner Missions
The mariner program was a program conducted by the american space agency NASA conjunction with jet propulsion laboratory that launched a series of robotic interplanetary probes designed to investigate Mars; Venus and Mercury from 1962 to 1973
Mariner 1 and 2 were almost identical spacecraft developed to fly by Venus. The rocket carrying Mariner 1 went off-course during launch on July 22, 1962, and was blown up by a range safety officer about 5 minutes into flight.
1962: Mariner 2 (NASA)
About 1 month later mariner 2 was launched successfully on August 27, 1962, sending it on a 3-1/2-month flight to Venus.
The first flight was July 22, 1962 and the last flight was November 3, 1973
NASA's Mariner Missions to Mars from the 1960s and 1970s
Mariner 3 was a 260 kg solar-cell and battery-powered spacecraft designed to make scientific measurements in the area of Mars and to take photographs of the planet's surface and send these to Earth. It was intended that the spacecraft would come across Mars after a 325-million mile journey in a little less than 8 months.
Mariner 4 was the first spacecraft to get a close look at Mars. Flying as close as 9,846 kilometers (6,118 miles), mariner 4 revealed Mars to have a cratered, rust-colored surface, with signs on some parts of the planet that liquid water had once engraved its way into the soil
Mariner 5 was originally built to be the backup for Mariner 4 to Mars, but was never needed for that purpose. As a result, it was redecorated and parcially changed to go to Venus instead. It flew by Venus at a distance of 3,990 kilometers (2,480 miles),
Launch of Mariner 5 Spacecraft to Explore Venus
Mariner 6 and 7
Mariners 6 and 7 were identical teammates in a two-spacecraft mission to Mars. Launched 31 days apart on Atlas/Centaur rockets, the spacecraft arrived at their closest approach to Mars (3,430 kilometers, or 2,130 miles) just four days apart
Mariner-H also known as Mariner 8, was (along with Mariner 9) part of the Mariner Mars 71 project. It was intended to go into Mars orbit and return images and data.
Mariner 9 was the first spacecraft to orbit another planet. After 349 days in orbit Mariner 9 had sent 7,329 images, covering over 80% of Mars' surface.The pictures showed river beds, craters, large extinct volcanoes, canyons including Valles Marineris, a big system of canyons over 4,000 kilometers [about 2,500 miles] long.
Mariner 9 Orbits Mars
Mariner 10 was the 7th successful launch in the Mariner series. The first spacecraft to use the gravitational pull of one planet (Venus) to reach another (Mercury), and the first spacecraft mission to visit two planets. Mariner 10 was the first (and as of 2003 the only) spacecraft to visit Mercury.
Launch of Mariner 10:Nov 3, 1973