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Mariner 9

Mariner 9

May 30, 1971

Launched on May 30, 1971 and reached Mars on November 14, 1971. It was the first spacecraft from earth to go into orbit around another planet. Mariner 9 took over 7000 pictures of the planet and studied what the atmosphere and surface was composed of as well as Mars gravity and typography. It also took close up pictures of Mars’ moons Phobos and Deimos.

Mars 2 & 3

Mars 2 & 3

May 28, 1971

Launched on May 28, 1971 the two spacecraft arrived at Mars on December 2, 1971. Both craft had Mars landers but only Mars 3 survived the, at the time, ongoing dust storms – making it the first successful landing on Mars. After touching down the lander survived for 20 seconds before failing. The lander also possibly deployed the first ever rover onto the Mars surface.

After several orbits around Mars, Mars 2 & 3 returned 60 images, recorded temperature ranges from -110 to 13 degrees celsius. They also produced surface relief maps and studied the planets gravity and magnetic field.

Mariner 6 & 7

Mariner 6 & 7

March 27, 1969

Launched together on March 27 1969 the two spacecraft reached Mars five days apart on August 5 and 10, 1969.

The two spacecraft returned around 200 images of the planet helping to establish the mass, radius and shape of Mars and revealed that the southern polar ice cap was composed of carbon dioxide.