The Mariner program consisted of ten exploration
probes launched between 1962 and 1973. The spacecraft
were designed by NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory to
investigate the planets Mars, Venus, and Mercury.
All Mariner missions were launched on
Atlas rockets, with early missions using
Atlas-Agena, and later missions using
Atlas-Centaur. Because of reliability issues
with available launchers, the missions
tended to use pairs of spacecraft launched
on separate rockets. Ultimately three
Mariner missions failed due to launch
vehicle or payload shroud failures. In each
case, the duplicate spacecraft was able to
complete the mission.
Mariner spacecraft accomplished a number
of important firsts, including the first
mission to visit Venus (Mariner 2), the
first successful Mars encounter (Mariner 4),
and the first mission to visit Mercury
More information may be found at
The Geosciences Node maintains the following data sets
from the Mariner missions.
Mars 1969 Images