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November 25, 2019 - A New View of Mars

A New View of Mars  Mariner 4, launched 55 years ago this week, was the first spacecraft to fly past Mars. When it arrived at the Red Planet in July 1965, it captured the first up-close images of another planet, pictures that forever changed the way humans regarded Mars. Nearly a hundred years earlier, the belief that channel-like features visible from Earth were actually artificial canals fueled speculation that Mars was inhabited by a race of advanced beings. Later observations and spectroscopic studies ruled out the possibility of such water works, but the true nature of the planet—a sterile, cratered world with no sign of intelligent life—was not revealed until Mariner 4 returned a set of 21 stark images. This 2009 Mars Express perspective image shows Sirenum Fossae, a region photographed by Mariner 4 in 1965.

Image credit: ESA/DLR/FU Berlin (G. Neukum)

Weekly Calendar

November 25 - December 1, 2019

Holidays - Sky Events - Space History


Moon phase Monday 25

1970: First powered flight of M2-F3 lifting body

Moon phase Tuesday 26

New Moon 10:06 AM ET

1965: France becomes third nation to launch a satellite
1975: Final X-24B lifting body flight
1985: STS-61B Atlantis launched
1989: Kvant 2 module launched
2011: Mars Science Laboratory rover Curiosity launched
2018: InSight spacecraft lands on Mars

Moon phase Wednesday 27

Neptune appears stationary

1885: First photo of a meteor shower
: Mars 2 probe becomes first artificial object to hit Mars
1997: Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission launched

Moon phase Thursday 28

Thanksgiving Day

Jupiter 0.7° S of Moon
Mercury at greatest elong (20° W)
Venus 1.9° S of Moon

1964: Mariner 4 launched
1983: STS-9 Columbia launched
2017: Voyager 1 fired backup thruster for first time in 37 years

Moon phase Friday 29

Saturn 0.9° north of Moon
Pluto 0.5° north of Moon

1967: First Australian satellite launched

Moon phase Saturday 30

1954: Elizabeth Hodges bruised by a ten-pound meteorite in Alabama
2000: STS-97 Endeavour launched

Moon phase Sunday 1

1957: Ballistic shape of Mercury spacecraft proposed by Max Faget
2013: Chang'e-3 spacecraft launched to Moon

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