Author Topic: Mariner 4  (Read 1506 times)

Offline Blackstar

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Mariner 4
« on: 11/29/2022 05:39 pm »
Just got a reminder of this:

"November 28,1964 Launch Complex 12 at Cape Canaveral came to life with the ignition of an Atlas LV-3 Agena-D rocket leaving the pad carrying the Mariner 4 probe. The NASA and JPL (Jet Propulsion Laboratory) spacecraft conducted scientific tests and observations of Mars during the “flyby” mission. It performed ”field and particle measurements” in the interplanetary space near Mars. Mariner 4 is credited with returning the first close up pictures of Mars to Earth and performing the first Mars flyby. Mariner 4 unexpectedly lasted 3 years after going into a solar orbit. Communication was ended December 21, 1967." (All images courtesy NASA/JPL)


Although Voyagers 1 and 2 are by far the most important planetary spacecraft ever built, it strikes me that Mariner 4 probably belongs in the top ten, for changing our understanding of Mars. I think that scientific understanding of the atmosphere was already changing before Mariner 4 reached Mars, but this mission altered not only that, but also our cultural understanding of the Red Planet.


Offline EE Scott

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Re: Mariner 4
« Reply #1 on: 11/29/2022 05:55 pm »
Good stuff!  Recently I re-read Willy Ley's "Mariner IV to Mars" paperback book and it reminded me of what a gut-punch these pictures must have been to folks who were hoping to find something a bit more hospitable to plant life. That being said, Mariner 4 was launched in such a profound time to be alive - humans literally getting their first (relatively) close-up pictures of Mars.

I agree, Mariner 4 was truly one of the most important/impactful interplanetary missions ever launched.
« Last Edit: 11/29/2022 05:56 pm by EE Scott »
Scott

Online LittleBird

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Re: Mariner 4
« Reply #2 on: 11/29/2022 06:10 pm »
Just got a reminder of this:

"November 28,1964 Launch Complex 12 at Cape Canaveral came to life with the ignition of an Atlas LV-3 Agena-D rocket leaving the pad carrying the Mariner 4 probe. The NASA and JPL (Jet Propulsion Laboratory) spacecraft conducted scientific tests and observations of Mars during the “flyby” mission. It performed ”field and particle measurements” in the interplanetary space near Mars. Mariner 4 is credited with returning the first close up pictures of Mars to Earth and performing the first Mars flyby. Mariner 4 unexpectedly lasted 3 years after going into a solar orbit. Communication was ended December 21, 1967." (All images courtesy NASA/JPL)


Although Voyagers 1 and 2 are by far the most important planetary spacecraft ever built, it strikes me that Mariner 4 probably belongs in the top ten, for changing our understanding of Mars. I think that scientific understanding of the atmosphere was already changing before Mariner 4 reached Mars, but this mission altered not only that, but also our cultural understanding of the Red Planet.

Also, I guess without Mariner 4, Mariner 9 would have been less of a thrill ... I was old enough to experience the latter but not the former ... my copy of Journey to the Planets by Peter Ryan and Ludek Pesek dates from that magic moment.

And don't forget the Venus Mariners and Venera 4-and the resulting "Farewell, Fantastic Venus" moment https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Farewell_Fantastic_Venus ... seeing the first surface pics from there in mid 70s partially made up for that though ;-)
« Last Edit: 11/29/2022 07:50 pm by LittleBird »

Online Vahe231991

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Re: Mariner 4
« Reply #3 on: 12/07/2022 02:38 am »
There's already a thread about the Mariner 4 mission:
https://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=1100.0

Tags: Mars mariner 4 NASA 
 

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