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50th Anniversary of the Mariner 2, Venus flyby in 1962



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NASA Celebrates 50 Years of Planetary Exploration

Fifty years ago on a mid-December day, NASA's Mariner 2 spacecraft sailed close to the shrouded planet Venus, marking the first time any spacecraft had ever successfully made a close-up study of another planet. The flyby, 58 million kilometres away from Earth, gave America its first bona fide space "first" after five years in which the Soviet Union led with several space exploration milestones. Designed and built by NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif., the successful Mariner 2 spacecraft ushered in a new era of solar system exploration.
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On December 14, 1962, Mariner 2 approached Venus from 30 degrees above the dark side of the planet, and passed below the planet at its closest distance of 34,773 km at 19:59:28 UT.
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Mariner 2 (Mariner-Venus 1962), a space probe to Venus, was the first successful spacecraft in the NASA Mariner program. It was a simplified version of the Block I spacecraft of the Ranger program and an exact copy of Mariner 1.
The Mariner 2 spacecraft was launched successfully on August 27, 1962.

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Mariner 2, the world's first successful interplanetary spacecraft, was launched on the 27th August, 1962.

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