In August 1962 NASA launched Mariner 2 to Venus and a new era in solar system exploration began. NASA invented planetary science. It took it out of the realm of just seeing planets through telescopes, to the era of "up close and personal" with flybys, orbiters, landers, rovers, and samples returned.

The NASA History Program Office, the Division of Space History at the National Air and Space Museum, the NASA Planetary Science Division, and the Jet Propulsion Laboratory invite papers relating to the history of planetary exploration to a symposium that will be held in Washington, D.C., on October 25-26, 2012. A subset of the papers will be published.

Come join us in this retrospective to celebrate 50 years of fabulous planetary science, entitled "Solar System Exploration @ 50."

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