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  Space Cover 16: Mariner 6 and 7 Reach Mars

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Author Topic:   Space Cover 16: Mariner 6 and 7 Reach Mars

Posts: 1239
From: Washington, DC, USA
Registered: Apr 2003

posted 08-04-2009 08:52 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for micropooz   Click Here to Email micropooz     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Space Cover of the Week, Week 16 (August 3, 2009)

Space Cover #016, Mariner 6 and 7 Reach Mars

Forty years ago, and all but lost amidst the post-flight hoopla after Apollo 11 was the fact that two plucky Mars probes passed within 2000 miles that planet on July 31 and August 5, 1969. The two covers above were postmarked at Cape Canaveral on the "flyby" days for Mariner 6 and 7. Cape Canaveral was the launch site for both probes, but the real action on those days was at the Jet Propulsion Lab in Pasadena, Ca., from where the probes were controlled and the images processed. These covers are two of the famous Space Craft Cachets, noted for their high quality printed cachets, produced by Carl Swanson through the 1960's and early 1970's. One-thousand, one-hundred of each cover was produced.

Mariner 6 took photos of the equatorial Meridiani Sinus region of Mars. And Mariner 7 took photos of the South Pole of Mars. These photos were plentiful enough to actually cobble together rudimentary maps of those two areas (the Mariner 7 South Pole map is shown below). This was quite a feat considering that the only other close-up photos of Mars were 22 grainy shots taken by Mariner 4 in 1965. Big difference from today's detailed global maps of Mars!

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