The Mission and Spacecraft Library

Mariner 6,7

Part of the Mariner program

Mariner 6,7 picture Mariners 6 and 7 were designed to fly over the equator and southern hemisphere of Mars. Mariner 6 encountered Mars on July 31,1969 and was quickly followied by Mariner 7 on August 4, 1969. The two spacecraft returned a combined total of 143 approach pictures of the planet and 55 close-up pictures. These images, from the vehicles' television cameras, included pictures of the northern and southern polar caps as well as Phobos, one of Mars' two moons. The spacecraft also studied the Martian atmosphere and profiled its chemical composition. Closest approach to Mars for both spacecraft was approximately 3,550 kilometers. The cost of the two missions was $148 million.

The eight sided magnesium structure contained seven electronics compartments. One small hydrazine rocket engine used for trajectory corrections. Solar panels generated 830 W maximum (450 watts at Mars). AgZn batteries. Dual S-Band transmitters provided telemetry at 8.33 and 16200 bps. 3-axis stabilized to 0.05 deg using 12 cold gas jets. 157 Mbits data storage.

The planetary experiments (59 kg) included two television cameras, an infrared radiometer, an infrared spectrometer, and an ultraviolet spectrometer. These sensors took TV pictures of Mars and measured the ratio of refractivity and UV and IR emissions of the atmosphere.

Country of Origin United States
Customer/User NASA
Manufacturer(s) JPL
Size 3.35 m from scan platform to top of LGA
Orbit Solar orbit - Direct flyby trajectories.
Related Sites JPL Mariner 6-7 Summary

Launch Facts
 Name  Int'l Desig.  Date  Site  Vehicle  Orbit  Mass(kg)
 Mariner 6  1969-014A  2/24/69  ESMC  Atlas Centaur  Solar  412
    Mars flyby 7/31/69; returned 75 images of Martian surface
 Mariner 7  1969-030A  3/27/69  ESMC  Atlas Centaur  Solar  412
    Mars flyby 8/5/69; returned 126 images of Martian surface

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