Anniversary of the First Photos from Mars by Mariner IV

| July 15, 2013 | 4 Comments

Mariner_4It seems unbelievable that it was 1965 when we took the first close-up photographs of the planet Mars.

Mariner IV sent these first photos on this date in 1965.

It is just as amazing to find out just how many folks believe we did not have a spacecraft go anywhere near Mars until the 70s. But we did several years before we set foot on the moon in 1969.

The photos were a bit crude by today’s digital standards. But they were pure magic to those living then.

Mariner_4_cratersThe really amazing part of the entire mission to me, was the course correction that had to be made about half way there.

That was some fancy flying they had to do – heavy calculations – and they hit it with around only 1% error in what they were shooting for. The craft was back on course and made it as planned.

The first photos were not so great – other than being the first. But soon they had some really stunning shots as Mariner 4 flew by.

Mariner 3 that came earlier could not deploy properly on its way and eventually died from lack of power since it could not extend its solar panels. It is now somewhere in solar orbit somewhere. Where is Mariner 4 now ?

Mariner IV is also bumping along out there somewhere. Hopefully it won’t be picked up by Klingons !

Of course I’m just joking. We wouldn’t dare give evil aliens a map to our planet, would we ?!? Uhhhhh …


Who’s “brilliant idea” was it to put a map to find us and a naked dude waving hello on Pioneer 10 ?!?

For all we know, raising a hand like that to some alien race might be an insult and they’ll use the map to come find who it was that insulted them … ! At least it shows 9 planets so they may miss us completely (hehheh!)


Category: Tony Rollo Blog

Comments (4)

Trackback URL | Comments RSS Feed

  1. hrc says:

    THis website is wrong.. Mars 1 in 1962 was the first object from earth to reach Mars and do a fly by fly lost communication later,Mariner-3-4 came later in 1964 , Mars-2 did landed on mars but too fast..and lost communication. First human made object in mars. Mars-3 Soft landed in 1971 and send images from the planet. Viking-1 in 1976 was the americans first land.

  2. tony says:


    Thanks for the information.

    However, let’s do get some things straight since you are obviously interested in accuracy.

    Since you are apparently spoofing an IP address in Puerto Rico from Russia, I can understand your misunderstanding of English syntax.

    First, I praise anyone who can learn English when it is not their native language. We speak several languages fluently in my household – Russian isn’t one of them.

    I do know for a fact that Russian people are a very industrious and handsome people with wonderful traditions. At least the ones who have immigrated to the United States and now live under the freedoms we have here.

    I feel the greatest mission in space was Apollo/Soyuz back in the 1970s … and we built the coupling device between the two space crafts.

    However, I digress – back to Mariner IV …

    The recollection I made was about the anniversary of the first photos from Mars BY Mariner IV.

    Again … BY Mariner IV. Note the posting date.

    I can see where you must have jumped to a conclusion based on the syntax.

    Sure, the communist Soviets had a very interesting space program in the 20th century based on a competition against the free world and free people. There were very interesting achievements also. Sometimes achievements can be made by communists when they are forcing people to work.

    As far as the Soviet Mars 1 – that would be like saying the first archer up to shoot an arrow that completely missed the target was the first target “fly by” by an arrow in an archery competition … What really matters in the end is who hit the target closest to the “bull’s eye”, not who got off the first haphazard shot and missed completely.

    Interesting that last April of 2013, NASA (that American space program) photographed the debris field left by the Soviet Mars 3 when it “soft landed” into the planet Mars.

    The Russians said Mars 3 was a soft landing. But it stopped sending data only 15 seconds after its “soft landing” …

    The ONE AND ONLY PHOTO you refer to as “the first photograph sent from the Martian surface” by Soviet Mars 3 is a blurry mush of grey. Nothing can be seen or deciphered. That is not my opinion. Anyone can look at it. However, it is fair to say it was the the first transmission from the surface of Mars if that is any consolation.

    The FIRST CLEAR PHOTO FROM THE SURFACE OF MARS was sent by Viking 1 on July 20th, 1976 – sent by NASA.

    You are correct, Viking 1 was the first USA landing. It is also the first successful spacecraft landing on Mars with it’s mission to be actually undertaken and completed.

    The mission the craft set out on was COMPLETED ! Not turned into a debris field.

    NASA – that crazy American space program that also landed men on the moon seven years earlier and brought them back alive – and the communist Soviet manned moon landing was … oops – sorry – there wasn’t one …

    So – it is not about just shooting at a target and missing completely that matters. It is the fact that a quality undertaking was taken on and finished as planned. The target is hit.

    Before Mars 3, there was Mars 2 …

    Mars 2 – You could say that the Soviet Mars 2 mission was the first “landing” on Mars if you consider Mars 1 was a “fly by” and Mars 3 had a “soft landing”.

    It would be more accurate to say that the communist Soviet Union was the first to create a junk yard on Mars.

    Mariner 9 from the USA arrived to mars 2 weeks BEFORE Mars 2 and 3.

    Mariner 9 went into a successful orbit of Mars TWO WEEKS before Mars 2 arrived. Mars 3 was launched almost the same time and arrived just after Mars 2.

    The point to make is this –

    Just being first is not what success is about. Success is about achieving a goal of substance. Something with purpose more than just being first.

    It was easy to throw a metal ball into orbit that just went “beep-beep-beep” in the 1950s. We could have done that – but what practical purpose is there with a metal ball going “beep-beep-beep” for 22 days until the batteries went dead before falling into the atmosphere two months later and burning to metal ash?

    The American answer to Sputnik was to be first to take the first nuclear submarine (the USS Nautilus) across and under the North Pole. That is what being first means.

    It is truly amazing what people with a purpose can achieve when there is a balance between the wonders of discovery and practicality.

    • Branko says:

      I was surfing the net, trying to find some facts of exploring of the cosmos. But this really look like this site is dedicated to mock up ‘commies’. Or was it just this particular reply?
      Nautilus was answer to Sputnik? And for what purpose? Do you compare pears and apples?
      Recently, one of quasi scientific TV channels (really cannot recall was that Discovery, NG or something similar) was proving that Custer sucked up at the Little Big Horn because his troops had inferior armament?
      C’mon folks. What kind of demons are chasing you to alter historical facts?
      I have always lived in Serbia. Very very clear memory on that warm summer day when I had my eyes locked on (that time) B/W TV set, watching Neil Armstrong setting foot on the MOON. Man, I was proud and excited and had only 4 and half years. I can really recall of that event with great human pride.
      Alas I witness also bomb dropping on my country during 1999 without any justified reason. Well some wonders of discovery have been misused obviously.
      I am not even curious what else would be changed in the history.

  3. thomson koshy says:

    very amazing information.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *