Early missions to document Mars
The Mariner 6,7 and 9 missions composed dual-spacecraft mission to Mars. Mariner 6 & 7 were identical companions in a two-spacecraft mission to Mars, and acquired 201 images of the planet. Their near-encounter images covered about 10 percent of the Martian surface.
Mariner 9 was the first spacecraft to orbit another planet and exceeded all expectations by photo-mapping 100 percent of the planet’s surface. The mission carried an instrument payload similar to Mariners 6 and 7, but because of the need for a larger propulsion system to control the spacecraft in Martian orbit, it weighed more than Mariners 6 and 7 combined.
Primary Mission Site:
LASP Mission Site:
Launch Date: February 25, 1969 (Mariner 6); March 27, 1969 (Mariner 7); May 30, 1971 (Mariner 9)
Prime Mission: 6 months (Mariner 6 & 7); 1 year (Mariner 9)
Mars Flyby: July 31, 1969 (Mariner 6); August 5, 1969 (Mariner 7)
Orbit Insertion: November 13, 1971 (Mariner 9)
Lead Institution: NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory
Lead Funding Agency: NASA’s Mariner Program