The Mission and Spacecraft Library

Mariner 1, 2

Part of the Mariner program

Mariner 1, 2 picture Mariner 2 was the world's first successful interplanetary spacecraft. It became the first spacecraft to flyby another planet on December 14, 1962 when it passed within 34,833 kilometers from the surface of Venus. During its flyby, Mariner 2 measured the temperatures of the clouds and surface of Venus as well as fields and particles near the planet and in interplanetary space. It discovered that Venus lacks a strong magnetic field and radiation belts, and that Venus' surface temperature was over 400 deg C. Contact was lost January 3, 1963 when the spacecraft was 86.9 million kilometers from Earth. An identical sister vehicle, Mariner 1, was lost in a launch failure prior to the launch of Mariner 2.

Based on Ranger lunar spacecraft. Octagonal bus structure. Power provided by two deployed solar panels. 3-axis stabilized using cold gas jets. S-Band communications using LGA or HGA. Hydrazine main engine.

Geiger tubes, ion chamber, cosmic dust detector, microwave radiometer, magnetometers.

Country of Origin United States
Customer/User NASA
Manufacturer(s) JPL
Orbit Solar orbit - Direct trajectory, Venus flyby on December 12, 1962
Related Sites JPL Mariner 2 Summary

Launch Facts
 Name  Int'l Desig.  Date  Site  Vehicle  Orbit  Mass(kg)
 Mariner 1  none  7/22/62  ESMC  Atlas Agena B  FTO  200
    Destroyed by range safety; Venus probe
 Mariner 2  1962-A[Rho]1  8/27/62  ESMC  Atlas Agena B  Solar  201
    Venus flyby at 34745 km

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