Slice of History - 55th Anniversary of the Mariner 6 Launch
Happy 55th Anniversary, Mariner 6! On 25 February 1969, Mariner 6 began the first dual journey to Mars for itself and its companion, the soon-after launched Mariner 7. With the objective of providing experience and data for the encounter of its twin, Mariner 6 flew over the equator and south polar regions of Mars, analyzed its atmosphere and surface with remote sensors, and recorded and relayed hundreds of images.
By chance, both Mariner 6 and 7 flew over cratered regions and missed both the giant northern volcanoes and the equatorial grand canyon later discovered. Their approach images did, however, show the dark features long seen from Earth, but no Martian canals. This encounter intended to gather information regarding signs of life and to help develop technology for future missions to the Red Planet.
This photo, taken in March 1969, shows practice lift-off activities for Mission G in the Space Flight Operations Facility (SFOF) in between the twins’ launches. CL#23-6588
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