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|PIA14032 Hand Colored Version||Mariner 4 Tape Recorder|
This archival image is an enhanced contrast version of the first Mars photograph released on July 15, 1965. This is man's first close-up photograph of another planet -- a photographic representation of digital data radioed from Mars by the Mariner 4 spacecraft. Data was either sent to Earth immediately for acquisition or stored on an onboard tape recorder for later transmission.
Mariner, launched on November 28, 1964, photographed Mars beginning at 5:18:33 P.M. PDT, July 14, 1965, at a distance of about 10,500 miles. Closest approach of about 9,846 kilometers (6,118 miles) from the planet occurred at 6:01 P.M.
The spacecraft carried a television camera and six other science instruments to study the Martian atmosphere and surface. The 22 photographs taken by Mariner 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 December 20, 1967, all operations of the spacecraft were ended.
For more information about this story see www.directedplay.com/first-tv-image-of-mars.
The Jet Propulsion Laboratory, a division of the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, managed the Mariner 4 mission for NASA, Washington, D.C.