Model, Planetary Probe, Mariner 2

Display Status:

This object is not on display at the National Air and Space Museum. It is either on loan or in storage.

Collection Item Summary:

This is a 1/20th scale model of Mariner 2, the space probe that on December 14, 1962, radioed back to Earth useful scientific information from another planet, in this case Venus, for the first time. At that time Mariner 2, with its six scientific instruments, passed within 34,800 kilometers (21,600 miles) of Venus. Data from the spacecraft indicated that Venus was very hot and had no measureable magnetic fields or radiation belts. On the way to Venus, Mariner 2's instruments detected and measured for the first time radiation levels, magnetic fields, and dust of interplanetary space. Contact with Mariner 2 was lost on January 2, 1963 and it remains in orbit around the Sun.

Transferred from the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, Jet Propulsion Laboratory.