You are here

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.


Mercury March 7, 2006

Featured Images

a spacecraft approaches mars

Bad Timing November 27, 2021

Valles Marineris

Grander Canyon November 13, 2021

Mariner 7 at Mars

Second Arrival August 4, 2019

First Eyes on Mars July 13, 2015

Radio Programs

Mariner 9 The first good look at Mars November 13, 2021

Moon and Mars Layers and layers of ice June 11, 2020

Robert Leighton Tinkering his way to Mars September 10, 2019

Twin Mariners Missing out on the good stuff August 4, 2019