After a six-month journey through space, Mariner 9 goes into
orbit around Mars, becoming the first spacecraft to orbit another
Imaging by the spacecraft's cameras is postponed one month due to a raging dust storm. Once imaging
begins, Mariner 9 reveals a very different planet than expected
-- one with gigantic volcanoes and a grand canyon stretching 4,800
kilometers (3,000 miles) across its surface. More surprisingly,
the relics of ancient riverbeds are carved in the landscape of this
seemingly dry and dusty planet. Mariner 9 exceeds all primary photographic
requirements by photo-mapping 100 percent of the planet's surface.
The spacecraft also takes the first close-up pictures of the two
small, irregular Martian moons: Phobos and Deimos.