Mariner 5 spacecraft

Mariner 5 spacecraft

Courtesy of NASA

http://nssdc.gsfc.nasa.gov/nmc/spacecraftDisplay.do?id=1967-060A



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


Launch
June 14, 1967


Arrival
October 19, 1967 (closest approach)


End of Mission
November, 1967 (Mariner 5 mission officially ended.) Six months later NASA tried to re-establish contact with the spacecraft. At first there was no signal, then on October 14, 1968, a weak signal, but the spacecraft was not able to respond to commands, so further attempts were abandoned on November 5, 1968.


Goals
Fly by Venus at a distance of 3,990 kilometers (2,480 miles). Originally built to be backup for Mariner 4 to Mars, but was refurbished and modified to go to Venus instead. Measure interplanetary and Venusian magnetic fields, charged particles, and plasmas, radio refractivity, and UV emissions of the Venusian atmosphere.


Findings
With more sensitive instruments than Mariner 2, revealed new information about Venus' atmosphere, including its composition of 85-99% carbon dioxide. The spacecraft passed 4,000 km from Venus. The spacecraft instruments successfully measured all objectives.