• Short Summary

    Photographs of Mars relayed by the American Mariner 9 spacecraft proved to be disappointing last week as a raging dust storm virtually blotted bout the planet's surface features.

  • Description

    Photographs of Mars relayed by the American Mariner 9 spacecraft proved to be disappointing last week as a raging dust storm virtually blotted bout the planet's surface features.

    The first batch of pre-orbit pictures - played back on Thursday (11 November) were far less clear than those taken from a similar distance in 1969 by the Mariner-7 fly-by mission. A further 31 pictures, taken from a range of between 325,0800 and 160, 000 miles (520,000 and 250,000 kms) by the spacecraft's two television cameras were again indistinct.

    But attention focussed on the storm itself -unique in its size and duration. Scientists monitoring the results in Pasadena said a black spot they had detected through the dust could be the central peak of a very large crater.

    On Saturday Mariner 9 swung into orbit around Mars on the last lap of its 248-million-mile (400 million km) journey to the planet. By doing so it became the first man-made object to circle another planet.

    SYNOPSIS: America's Mariner 9 spacecraft climaxed its 248-million mile voyage to Mars on Saturday by swinging into orbit round the planet.

    Meanwhile scientists in Pasadena were hoping for better pictures from the planet than those received the two previous days. On Thursday a raging dust storm virtually blotted out the planet's surface features on pictures relayed by the spacecraft's two television cameras. But despite the mysterious yellow mist - which has covered Mars for the past seven weeks - a small white peak can be seen near the top of the pictures. This is the remainder of the Polar cap at the South Pole of the planet.

    Then, on Friday, more pictures - getting as close as 160,000 miles away - began to reveal what scientists believe could be the central peak of a very large crater. Mariner 9, now closer to Mars than the Moon is to the earth, radioed back a further 31 pictures. Although they have not yet matched those taken by in 1969 by the Mariner-7 fly-by mission, the present spacecraft is the first man-made object to orbit another planet.

  • Tags

  • Data

    Film ID:
    VLVA86R0YGXC7BR9ASU1RICQH9SJ3
    Media URN:
    VLVA86R0YGXC7BR9ASU1RICQH9SJ3
    Group:
    Reuters - Source to be Verified
    Archive:
    Reuters
    Issue Date:
    14/11/1971
    Sound:
    Unknown
    HD Format:
    Available on request
    Stock:
    Colour
    Duration:
    00:01:09:00
    Time in/Out:
    /
    Canister:
    N/A

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