The first attempt by the United States to send a spacecraft to Venus, Mariner 1 was destroyed by the range safety officer about 290 seconds after launch when it veered off course.

The spacecraft was to fly by Venus and transmit scientific data, a goal that was soon after accomplished by the Mariner 2 spacecraft, which successfully ventured to the planet and measured its solar wind.

Scientific Instrument(s)

- Microwave radiometer
- Infrared radiometer
- Three-axis fluxgate magnetometer
- Cosmic ray ionization
- Cosmic dust detector
- Electrostatic analyzer