Mariner 8 Assembly
Date: 1 Jan 1971
Technicians at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory prepare Mariner 8 for launch.
This was the first of two spacecraft in the Mariner Mars 71 project intended to orbit Mars for at least 90 days, gathering data on the Martian atmosphere and about 70 percent of the planet's surface.
The launch vehicle malfunctioned. It carried its payload back into Earth's atmosphere and splashed down in the Atlantic Ocean about 560 km north of Puerto Rico.
Image Credit: NASA/JPL