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February 24th and March 27th 1969, the JPL and the NASA sent two new probes toward Mars. It was Mariner 6, that reached Mars in July 30th 1969 after a trip of 389 million of kilometers, and Mariner 7, that arrived August 5th of the same year after a trip of 317 million of kilometers.

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Mariner 6                           Mariner 7

The sequence of fly-by with the planet was similar for both the probes and separated in two phases. Two days before the maximum approach Mariner 6 taked 50 telescopic images of Mars througt infrared and ultraviolet lengthweave. The twin probe Mariner 7 instead did 93 photos in three days.

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Technical Details

In the second phase of fly-by Mariner 6 took 25 images to a least distance of 3,390 kilometers. Mariner 7 took 33 images of the surface from a distance of 3,500 kilometers.

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Mariner scientific instrument platform

The Mariner 6 fly over the equator while the Mariner 7 fly over the southern hemisphere. The images confirmed the presence of many craters, like already in precedence had done the Mariner 4, but unfortunately the zones photographed are also those which there are the most numbers of impact craters on the planet.

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Planned Mariner TV coverage of Mars

None suspected how amazing Mars was. To discover this the scientists should wait the mission of Mariner 9.

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Mariner 6

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Mariner 7

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Mariner 6/7 coverage

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The approching planet as it appeared to Mariner 7

during the first 36 hours of far encounter, at 900.000 miles.

in the center, after 14 hours -   At right after 9 , at only 525.000 miles.


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Mars continued to hurtle towards Mariner 7.

Above left, 245.000 miles distant showing the bright ring of Nix Olympica.

At the center, 100.000 miles closer, the dark region called Mare Cimmerium.

Right, wieved in near encounter at a distance of only 5000 miles

the cratered terrain of Sinus Meridiani

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The antarctic of Mars is shown in two version

of the same set of pictures taken by Mariner 7

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The area seen near the horizon by Mariner 7

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