Illustration of the Mariner 2 spacecraft

The Mariner 9 spacecraft, in its 137th day of travel to Mars, has covered 209,860,000 million miles since launch on May 30 from Cape Kennedy.

The arrival date at Mars for the 2200 pound spacecraft is November 13, when a 15 minute burn of its 300-pound thrust rocket engine will place Mariner 9 into a twice-daily Mars orbit.

Relative to Earth, the spacecraft is currently traveling at 34,897 mph and is 51,016,000 miles from Earth as it slowly closes towards the orbital path of Mars.

The basic objective of the mission is 90 days in Mars orbit and mapping about 70% of the Martian surface with two television cameras. Other experiments will record atmospheric and surface data.

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