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Welcome to "On This Day ... in Space!" where we peer back in our archives to find historic moments in spaceflight and astronomy. So enjoy a blast from the past with Space.com's Hanneke Weitering to look back at what happened on this day in space!

On Dec. 14, 1962, NASA's Mariner 2 spacecraft flew by Venus.

The Mariner 2 spacecraft was launched from Cape Canaveral on August 27, 1962, and it took the spacecraft three and a half months to reach Venus. NASA reported several technical problems along the way, but Mariner 2 pulled through, and passed less than 22,000 miles from the surface of Venus. This was the first time a spacecraft successfully flew by another planet.

The mission not only taught NASA about Venus, but it also helped NASA figure out how to operate a spacecraft far away from Earth.

The 10 Weirdest Facts About Venus

Japan at Venus: Photos from the Akatsuki Spacecraft's Mission

Amazing Venus Photos by ESA's Venus Express

Photos of Venus, the Mysterious Planet Next Door

Catch up on our entire "On This Day In Space" series on YouTube with this playlist.

Email Hanneke Weitering at hweitering@space.com or follow her @hannekescience. Follow us @Spacedotcom and on Facebook