The Mariner 2 spacecraft was launched from Cape Canaveral on Aug. 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
- Top 10 Extreme Planet Facts
- Space History Photo: Kennedy Receives Mariner 2 Model
All About Space magazine takes you on an awe-inspiring journey through our solar system and beyond, from the amazing technology and spacecraft that enables humanity to venture into orbit, to the complexities of space science.