Mariner 4 spacecraft
Atlantis Region on Mars
Mariner 4 spacecraft

Mariner 4 spacecraft

Courtesy of NASA

http://nssdc.gsfc.nasa.gov/nmc/spacecraftDisplay.do?id=1964-077A



Overview
The Mariner program consisted of a series of 10 unmanned flyby missions launched by NASA between 1962 and 1973. These missions were designed to be the first to travel to other planets, specifically Venus, Mars, and Mercury. Seven were successful; three were lost. In summary:


Spacecraft

Destination

Launch year

Status

Mariner 1

Venus

1962

destroyed

Mariner 2

Venus

1962

flyby

Mariner 3

Mars

1964

lost

Mariner 4

Mars

1964

flyby

Mariner 5

Venus

1967

flyby

Mariner 6

Mars

1969

flyby

Mariner 7

Mars

1969

flyby

Mariner 8

Mars

1971

lost

Mariner 9

Mars

1971

flyby

Mariner 10

Venus, Mercury

1973

flyby


After an 8-month voyage, Mariner 4 performed a flyby of Mars and was the first spacecraft to send back close-up photographs of another planet. There were 22 images. Mariner 4 stayed in space and transmitted other data for about 3 years.


Launch
November 28, 1964


Arrival
July 14, 1965


End of Mission
December 21, 1967


Goals
Fly as close as 9,846 km (6,118 mi) from Mars and make measurements with various field and particle sensors and detectors, get images.


Findings
Mariner 4 was the first spacecraft to get a close look at Mars. Revealed Mars to have a cratered, rust-colored surface, with signs on some parts of the planet that liquid water had once etched its way into the soil. Television camera took 22 pictures covering about 1% of the planet.