• Short Summary

    MARINER 9, AMERICA's FIRST SPACECRAFT TO ORBIT ANOTHER PLANET, WILL ARRIVE AT MARS NOVEMBER 13 AFTER A 167-DAY FLIGHT FROM EARTH.

  • Description

    MARINER 9, AMERICA's FIRST SPACECRAFT TO ORBIT ANOTHER PLANET, WILL ARRIVE AT MARS NOVEMBER 13 AFTER A 167-DAY FLIGHT FROM EARTH. MARINER WAS DEVELOPED BY THE JET PROPULSION LABORATORY FOR THE NATIONAL AERONAUTICS AND SPACE ADMINISTRATION.

    DURING ITS APPROACH TO MARS THE AUTOMATED SCIENTIFIC SPACECRAFT WILL TAKE TELEVISION PICTURES OF THE PLANET AS IT REVOLVES THROUGH SEVERAL MARTIAN DAYS.

    TO GET INTO ORBIT AROUND THE PLANET, MARINER 9'S ROCKET ENGINE WILL FIRE FOR 15 MINUTES, SLOWING THE SPACECRAFT BY ABOUT 3500 MILES PER HOUR. THE BRAKING MANEUVER WILL CONSUME ABOUT A THOUSAND POUNDS OF PROPELLANT--OR NEARLY HALF THE LAUNCH WEIGHT OF THE SPACECRAFT. TO TRIM MARINER'S ORBIT TO A PRECISE PERIOD OF 11 HOURS, 58 MINUTES AND 48 SECONDS, THE ENGINE WILL FIRE FOR A BRIEF BURST.

    THE MARINER DESIGN INCLUDES A LARGE ROTATING TURRET, OR SCAN PLATFORM, UPON WHICH THE CAMERAS AND OTHER SCIENCE INSTRUMENTS ARE MOUNTED FOR POINTING AT THE PLANET.

    MARINER CARRIERS TWO TV CAMERAS. ONE, EQUIPPED WITH A POWERFUL TELESCOPE, CAN RESOLVE OBJECTS AS SMALL AS 30 FEET ACROSS.

    THE 12-HOUR ORBIT IS INCLINED 65 DEGREES TO THE EQUATOR. GLOBAL TV COVERAGE CAN BE CONSTRUCTED FROM....
    ....A MOSAIC OF THREE OR MORE WIDE-ANGLE PICTURES THAT COVER THE LIGHTED PORTION OF THE PLANET DISC AND THE ATMOSPHERE ABOVE IT.

    AS MARINER'S ORBIT TAKES IT TO A LOWER ALTITUDE..
    ....A SET OF THREE PICTURES IS TAKEN FOR A GEODESY EXPERIMENT. TWO ORBITS LATER, THE SAME AREA....
    ....IS PHOTOGRAPHED FROM A DIFFERENT ANGLE PROVIDING STEREO COVERAGE, ALLOWING SCIENTISTS TO PINPOINT SURFACE FEATURES ACCURATELY. SOUTH POLAR REGION COVERAGE AND HIGH-SUN ANGLE TELEVISION WILL BE CONDUCTED ON SELECTED ORBITS. MOST OF THE MARINER 9 PICTURES WILL BE TAKEN FROM THE LOWEST POINT IN THE ORBIT--OR PERIAPSIS--AND WILL MAKE UP THE MAPPING SEQUENCE.

    ON EACH ORBIT, A STRIP ON OVERLAPPING WIDE-ANGLE PICTURES WILL BE TAKEN FROM AS CLOSE AS 750 OR 800 MILES AND RECORDED ON THE SPACECRAFT. (High-resolution pictures of selected areas within the swath also will be taken). EACH ORBIT PRODUCES A NEW STRIP OF PHOTO COVERAGE WITH LATER ORBITS FILLING IN THE LATERAL GAPS. (Mariner 9's orbit was designed to produce a continuous swath around Mars once each 37 orbits, making it possible to study seasonal effects on the planet at 18-day intervals.)
    BEGINNING DEEP IN THE SOUTHERN HEMISPHERE, THE PLANET MAPPING SEQUENCES WILL EXTEND FROM 65 DEGREES SOUTH LATITUDE TO 45 DEGREES NORTH........AND, AFTER 90 DAYS OF ORBITAL OPERATIONS, WILL COVER MORE THAN 70 PER CENT OF THE MARS GLOBE.

    TELEVISION PICTURES OF MARTIAN MOONS PHOBOS AND DEMOS MAY BE OBTAINED THROUGHOUT THE MISSION, SOME FROM AS NEAR AS 3000 TO 5000 MILES.

    ALL TV PICTURES AND SOME OF THE OTHER SCIENCE DATA WILL BE STORED ON MARINER'S TAPE RECORDER AND TRANSMITTED TO EARTH WHEN THE GOLDSTONE, CALIFORNIA, STATION OF THE DEEP SPACE NETWORK IS IN VIEW OF THE SPACECRAFT. (The Goldstone station, equipped with a 210-foot-diameter antenna can receive signals from Mariner during every other orbit) Pictures can be displayed at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory while Goldstone is receiving.

    SIMULTANEOUS WITH TV MAPPING, OTHER INSTRUMENTS WILL BE MAKING SCIENCE MEASUREMENTS OF THE ATMOSPHERE AND THE SURFACE OF THE PLANET. EACH VIEWS MARS ALONG THE SAME LINE, AND THE DATA FROM EACH COMPLEMENTS THE OTHERS.

    THERMAL MAPPING OF THE AREAS PHOTOGRAPHED WILL BE PROVIDED BY AN INFRARED RADIOMETER TO CORRELATE TEMPERATURES WITH SURFACE VISUAL APPEARANCE. AN ULTRAVIOLET SPECTROMETER WILL IDENTIFY THE CHEMICAL CONSTITUENTS AND MEASURE THE DISTRIBUTION OF CASES IN MARS' UPPER ATMOSPHERE. (An elevation profile of the surface may also be provided by the UV experiment.)
    COMPOSITION OF THE LOWER ATMOSPHERE AND POSSIBLY THE SURFACE OF MARS WILL BE DETERMINED FROM MEASUREMENTS BY ANOTHER INSTRUMENT, THE INFRARED INTERFEROMETER SPECTROMETER.

    WHILE ENTERING AND EXISTING A RADIO BLACKOUT AREA BEHIND THE PLANET DURING EACH ORBIT, MARINE'S RADIO SIGNAL IS AFFECTED BY ITS PASSAGE THROUGH THE MARTIAN ATMOSPHERE. PRESSURE MEASUREMENTS OF THE ATMOSPHERE MAY RESULT FROM ANALYSIS OF THE SPACECRAFT RADIO SIGNAL AS IT PENETRATES THE ATMOSPHERE DOWN TO THE SURFACE. CALLED OCCUPATION ON, THIS EXPERIMENT CAN BE CONDUCTED EACH ORBIT FOR THE FIRST 35 DAYS. (A measurement of the planet's radius may also be obtained at each local point of occupation.)
    RADIO TRACKING DATA ALSO CONTRIBUTES TO ANOTHER EXPERIMENT--CELESTIAL MECHANICS--WHICH WILL PROVIDE INFORMATION TO REFINE ASTRONOMICAL DATA. TOGETHER, THESE EXPERIMENTS ARE EXPECTED TO PRODUCE THE MOST DETAILED PROFILE YET OBTAINED OF THE MARTIAN SURFACE AND ATMOSPHERE.

  • Tags

  • Data

    Film ID:
    VLVA5GLB9J5NIBDTXXL6ZT8UW4TRC
    Media URN:
    VLVA5GLB9J5NIBDTXXL6ZT8UW4TRC
    Group:
    Reuters - Source to be Verified
    Archive:
    Reuters
    Issue Date:
    01/12/1971
    Sound:
    Unknown
    HD Format:
    Available on request
    Stock:
    Colour
    Duration:
    00:04:51:00
    Time in/Out:
    /
    Canister:
    N/A

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