National Aeronautics and Space Administration Logo
Follow this link to skip to the main content NASA Banner
Solar System Exploration
Multimedia
First Image from Mariner 4
First Image from Mariner 4 (click to enlarge)
 
 

First Image from Mariner 4
Date: 15 Jul 1965

A "real-time data translator" machine converted a Mariner 4 digital image data into numbers printed on strips of paper. Too anxious to wait for the official processed image, employees from the Telecommunications Section at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), attached these strips side by side to a display panel and hand colored the numbers (similar to a paint-by-numbers picture). The completed image was framed and presented to, then JPL director, William H. Pickering.

Mariner 4 was launched on 28 November 1964 and journeyed for 228 days to the Red Planet, providing the first close-range images of Mars. The spacecraft carried a television camera and six other science instruments to study the Martian atmosphere and surface. The 22 photographs taken revealed the existence of lunar type craters upon a desert-like surface. After completing its mission, Mariner 4 continued past Mars to the far side of the sun. On 20 December 1967, all operations of the spacecraft were ended.

Credit: Jet Propulsion Laboratory



Awards and Recognition   Solar System Exploration Roadmap   Contact Us   Site Map   Print This Page
NASA Official: Kristen Erickson
Advisory: Dr. James Green, Director of Planetary Science
Outreach Manager: Alice Wessen
Curator/Editor: Phil Davis
Science Writer: Autumn Burdick
Producer: Greg Baerg
Webmaster: David Martin
> NASA Science Mission Directorate
> Budgets, Strategic Plans and Accountability Reports
> Equal Employment Opportunity Data
   Posted Pursuant to the No Fear Act
> Information-Dissemination Policies and Inventories
> Freedom of Information Act
> Privacy Policy & Important Notices
> Inspector General Hotline
> Office of the Inspector General
> NASA Communications Policy
> USA.gov
> ExpectMore.gov
> NASA Advisory Council
> Open Government at NASA
Last Updated: 6 May 2013