The Mariner 6 space probe transmitted a second series of Mars pictures on Wednesday evening (30 July).
(In sequence, natural sound throughout) Jet Propulsion Laboratory scientists watching pictures and speaking (in order, left to right: Dr. Albert Hibbs, Robert Leighton, Bruce Murray); Mars from 330,000 miles; pictures sequence ranging from 330-thousand to 120-thousand miles; picture from 120-thousand miles.
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Background: The Mariner 6 space probe transmitted a second series of Mars pictures on Wednesday evening (30 July).
The second series of pictures, showing much greater detail than Tuesday's were made as the Mariner 6 began rapidly approaching the pint it will pass closest to the planet--2-thousand miles above the surface. The final views showed a number of large circular features is the southern region. Contrast between the light and dark area was reduced, however, because of the sunlight reflected from the prominent South Polar cap. Scientists at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory say the final series of pictures -- from a distance of approximately 2-thousand miles-will not be affected by this reflection.
When the approach views had all been recording, the final one were displayed in quick succession--giving viewers the impression of plunging toward the planet. As they were shown, two members of the Mariner program control group - Dr. Albert Hibbs and Dr. Robert Leighton - gave a running commentary. They specifically remarked on large, circular feature thought to be a crater, and on the dark and ragged edge surrounding the South Polar cap.
The third, and final, sequence of pictures will be close-up views of Mars. They will be transmitted from the Mariner 6 shortly after it passes beyond the planet.