Mariner 2
December 14, 1962

 

Artist's concept of Mariner 2  near Venus

Artist's concept of Mariner 2 near Venus

 

One hundred nine days after launch, Mariner 2 flies by Venus, becoming the first spacecraft to successfully encounter another planet. Mariner 2 passes 34,773 kilometers (about 21,600 miles) above the surface and scans the planet with infrared and microwave radiometers, revealing that Venus has cool clouds and an extremely hot surface.

Mariner 2's signal is tracked until January 3, 1963. As of 2002, the spacecraft remains in orbit around the Sun.

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