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Mariner 1
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Mariner 01
Mariner 1 Mission to Venus

Mission Type: Flyby
Launch Vehicle: Atlas-Agena B (no. 5 / Atlas D no. 145 / Agena B no. 6901)
Launch Site: Cape Canaveral, United States ETR / launch complex 12
NASA Center: Jet Propulsion Laboratory
Spacecraft Mass: 202.8 kg
Spacecraft Instruments: 1) microwave radiometer 2) infrared radiometer 3) fluxgate magnetometer 4) cosmic dust detector 5) solar plasma spectrometer and 6) energetic particle detectors
Spacecraft Dimensions: 202.8 kg
Total Cost: Total research, development, launch, and support costs for the Mariner series of spacecraft (Mariners 1 through 10) was approximately $554 million.
Deep Space Chronicle: A Chronology of Deep Space and Planetary Probes 1958-2000, Monographs in Aerospace History No. 24, by Asif A. Siddiqi

National Space Science Data Center,

After approval by NASA Headquarters in September 1961, JPL prepared three spacecraft based on the design of the Ranger Block I series (therefore named Mariner R) to fly by Venus in late 1962.

Each spacecraft carried a modest suite (9 kilograms) of scientific instrumentation but had no imaging capability. The spacecraft included 54,000 components and was designed to maintain contact with Earth for 2,500 hours -- an ambitious goal given that the (still unsuccessful) Ranger was designed for only 65 hours of contact.

Mariner 1 would have flown by Venus at a range of 29,000 kilometers on 8 December 1962, but due to an incorrect trajectory during launch, range safety had to destroy the booster and its payload at T+290 seconds.

Key Dates
22 Jul 1962:  Launch (09:21:23 UT)
Status: Unsuccessful
Fast Facts
Mariner 01 Facts This was the first U.S. attempt to reach Venus.

The spacecraft design was based on the Ranger spacecraft that pioneered early U.S. lunar exploration.

A missing hyphen in coded computer instructions contributed to the guidance problem behind the mission's failure.
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Al Hibbs Al Hibbs
Al Hibbs decided as a five-year-old that he wanted to go to the Moon. He did qualify as an astronaut, but his legacy is in robotic exploration. Read More...
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Last Updated: 30 Nov 2010