Mariner 9

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Mariner 9
Mariner09.jpg
The Mariner 9 spacecraft
Mission type Mars orbiter
Operator NASA / JPL
COSPAR ID 1971-051A
SATCAT no. 5261
Mission duration 1 year, 4 months, 27 days
Spacecraft properties
Manufacturer Jet Propulsion Laboratory
Launch mass 997.9 kilograms (2,200 lb)
Dry mass 558.8 kilograms (1,232 lb)
Power 500 watts
Start of mission
Launch date May 30, 1971, 22:23:04 (1971-05-30UTC22:23:04Z) UTC
Rocket Atlas SLV-3C Centaur-D
Launch site Cape Canaveral LC-36B
End of mission
Disposal Decommissioned
Deactivated October 27, 1972 (1972-10-28)
Orbital parameters
Reference system Areocentric
Periareion 1,650 kilometres (1,030 mi)
Apoareion 16,860 kilometres (10,480 mi)
Inclination 64.4°
Period 719.47 minutes
Mars orbiter
Orbital insertion November 14, 1971, 00:42:00 UTC

Mariner 9 was a NASA spacecraft. It was the ninth spacecraft in the Mariner programme. It was sent to study and orbit the planet Mars. It was the first spacecraft to orbit another planet. Mariner 9 was launched on May 30, 1971 from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station. Mariner 9 reached Mars on November 13, 1971, after a ~170 day flight. The spacecraft was sent to map 70 % of the surface of Mars and to study the temperature changes of the Martian atmosphere and surface. When it arrived, a dust storm hid the surface of Mars. After a few months the dust settled and Mariner 9 discovered the Valles Marineris.