Exploring the Solar System

Exploring Mars

What was the first spacecraft to orbit Mars?

In 1971 Mariner 9 became the first spacecraft to enter orbit around Mars. During its year in orbit, Mariner 9 sent back pictures of an intense Martian dust storm, as well as images of 90 percent of the planet’s surface, and of Phobos and Deimos, the two Martian moons.


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