History In The Headlines

40 Years Ago: Mars Exploration Milestone Reached

By History.com Staff
On November 14, 1971, NASA’s Mariner 9 reached Mars, becoming the first spacecraft to orbit another planet. Carrying remote sensors, cameras and radiometers, it had launched six months earlier from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station. Mariner 9 produced a global map of the Red Planet that dramatically altered astronomers’ understanding of its geography, geology and other features. Deactivated in October 1972, Mariner 9 remains in Mars’ orbit to this day and is expected to burn up or crash to the surface after 2022.

Categories: Mars, Space