50 Years Ago: Mariner II at Venus
Mariner Space Probe illustration.
On this last day of 2012, I'm trying to catch up on some 50 years ago items from 1962. On december 14, 1962, the Mariner 2 space probe made its closest pass to the planet Venus. Closing to about 41,000 km, the encounter was also the first time a planetary probe had reached another planet. Mariner 2 had had several problems along the way, but the durability of the craft came through and gave the world new information about our sister planet.
The data radioed back from Mariner confirmed scientists' estimates of the incredibly hot temperatures and the thick atmosphere of the planet. It also determined that the temperature was fairly evenly distributed around the entire globe. Experiments searching for a magnetic field came up empty, meaning Venus either had a very tiny magnetic field or there wasn't one. Other interesting discoveries showed that Venus had a slow rotation that was in the opposite direction from that of Earth's and that there was no radiation belt like our own Van Allen Belt.
Mariner 2 continued on past Venus into an orbit around the Sun. It was last heard from on January 3, 1963, and is still out there today....
Space Center Educator
Things I Found Interesting
- Beyond a few brief trips to the Moon over four decades ago, humanity has never ventured outside of Earth's protective magnetic field. And while it's natural to dream of exploring the stars, such voyages may carry impossibly high medical risks. Read On
- If the sun looks a little larger than usual today, you're not seeing things. Today (Jan. 2) marks the time when the Earth is at perihelion, the point in its orbit at which it is closest to the sun. Read On
- Has NASA lost its way? What does 2013 hold for space? Read On
- Astronomers studying a newborn star have caught a detailed glimpse of planets forming around it, revealing a never-before seen stage of planetary evolution. Read On
Toy Story morphed Into darkness. A Disturbing Children's Tale
Fire Escape: 1896.
They knew how to make escaping a fire fun.
Good perspective with the London Eye.
All in one hot dog maker.
How students feel when they see their teachers outside of the school.
A VW van limo.
My dream entrance to my dream home.
Any salesman willing to take the adventure would have an guaranteed sale.
A creative way to say "Stay Out".
And to think it all started with a game of ping bong.
And you know what usually looses.
There you go, in case you didn't quite know how to describe "ironic".
My feeling exactly on resolutions.
Could a jacket get any better?
The perfect piece of utility furniture.
Imagination and Engineering: A
Downsizing is all the craze nowadays.
This is a good example.
Creative displays above and below and below
Taking the ordinary and making it Extraordinary.
I'll be soon running out of years, so some of you grow up
and begin inventing, engineering and discovering will ya?