Image of Mariner 4
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The 10 Mariner missions of the 1960's and early 70's were all flybys designed to visit nearby planets in our solar system. Seven were successful, reaching Venus, Mars, and Mercury.
Mariner 2, launched in 1962, was the first spacecraft to go to Venus, sending back information on its high surface temperature. The fifth Mariner mission also visited Venus and performed experiments on its atmosphere.
Our first close-up glimpse of planet Mars was from Mariner 4 in 1965, and revealed a terrain covered with craters. Mariners 6,7, and 9 also reached the red planet, returning information on its composition and photographs of its two moons.
The Mariner 10 mission was the last in the Mariner sequence, and visited both Venus and Mercury.
Some of the data returned from these spacecraft are shown in the image archive below.
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