First Spacecraft to Orbit Mars

Mariner 9 was the first orbital mission to Mars. After arriving at the Red Planet in November 1971, imagery from Mariner 9 transformed our perception of Mars from a cold, crater-filled planet to a world full of past geological activity and a planet that once had water.


Mariner 9’s cameras were the first to capture the gamut of Martian geology. The spacecraft’s imagery included pictures of Mars’ polar caps, the vast Valles Marineris canyon and the Martian moons (Phobos and Deimos)….


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