NASA’s Mariner II Venus fly-past in 1962 – an annotated graphic

On 14 December 1962, NASA’s Mariner II passed within 35,000km of Venus, becoming the first spacecraft to successfully fly by another planet. From this historic voyage, we learned that Venus rotates in a counter direction to most planets in our solar system, has a high-pressure carbon dioxide atmosphere and continuous cool cloud cover. Thanks, Mariner II!

Whither Mariner II now? Endlessly circling the Sun, in a heliocentric orbit. Space debris: a serious problem for our immediate galaxy.

Click on the graphic for an expanded view.

Mariner II's Venus fly past
Mariner II’s Venus fly past


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