Bruce Murray Space Image Library

Mariner 2 gets the Rose Parade treatment

Mariner 2 gets the Rose Parade treatment
Mariner 2 gets the Rose Parade treatment On New Years Day 1963, a model of JPL's Mariner 2 spacecraft above a floral "Venus" moved down Colorado Boulevard in the annual Tournament of Roses Parade. JPL Director William Pickering, Grand Marshal of the parade, rode just ahead of the float, which was built and funded by JPL volunteers. NASA / JPL

Mariner 2 flew by Venus on December 14, 1962 -- the first spacecraft to reach another planet and send data back to Earth. Launched on August 27, 1962, Mariner 2 was the first spacecraft to observe another planet, returning 42 minutes of data about the atmosphere and surface of the planet before going into heliocentric orbit. It was one of a series of Mariner missions designed to explore Earth's nearest neighbors, Venus and Mars.

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