December 13, 2013
An artist's rendition of the Mariner 1 Space Probe, which was destroyed just over a minute after takeoff due to a malfunction. (Courtesy: NASA)
After the failure of Mariner 1, NASA’s next attempt at an unmanned probe to Venus was much more successful.
Mariner 1, an unmanned probe launched by NASA in 1962, failed to reach Venus. It’s identical sister probe, Mariner 2 was launched on August 27, 1962 onboard an Atlas-Agena B rocket.
The probe was fitted with a variety of instruments such as a magnetometer, solar plasma sensor, and more. Because of the thickness of the atmosphere, the probe was not outfitted with a camera.
The probe reached Venus in December of 1962 and took readings of the planet’s high temperatures and magnetic field.
It would be succeeded immediately by the Mars probe Mariner 4. The next probe the US sent to Venus was Mariner 5.