The Mariner 3 spacecraft
|Mission type||Mars flyby|
|Operator||NASA / JPL|
|Mission duration||Launch failure|
|Manufacturer||Jet Propulsion Laboratory|
|Launch mass||260.8 kilograms (575 lb)|
|Power||300 watts (at Mars encounter)|
|Start of mission|
|Launch date||November 5, 1964, 19:22:05UTC|
|Rocket||Atlas LV-3 Agena-D|
|Launch site||Cape Canaveral LC-13|
Mariner 3 (together with Mariner 4 known as Mariner-Mars 1964) was one of two identical deep-space probes designed and built by the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) for NASA's Mariner-Mars 1964 project that were intended to conduct close-up (flyby) scientific observations of the planet Mars and transmit information on interplanetary space and the space surrounding Mars, televised images of the Martian surface and radio occultation data of spacecraft signals as affected by the Martian atmosphere back to Earth. It was the third of ten spacecraft within the Mariner program.
Mariner 3 was launched on November 5, 1964 from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station Launch Complex 13, but the shroud encasing the spacecraft atop its rocket failed to open properly, and Mariner 3 did not get to Mars. Unable to collect the Sun's energy for power from its solar panels, the probe soon died when its batteries ran out and is now derelict in a solar orbit.
Three weeks later, on November 28, 1964, Mariner 4 was launched successfully on a 7½-month voyage to Mars.
The instruments on Mariner 3 included:
- Television camera
- Plasma probe
- Cosmic ray telescope
- Trapped radiation detector
- Cosmic ray ionization chamber
- Cosmic dust detector
- "Mariner Mars 1964 Mechanical Configuration" (PDF). NASA Technical Reports Server. Retrieved December 29, 2011.
- "Spaceflight Operations Plan Mariner Mars '64" (PDF). NASA Technical Reports Server. Retrieved December 29, 2011.
- "Launch Complex 13".
- Pyle, Rod (2012). Destination Mars. Prometheus Books. p. 51. ISBN 978-1-61614-589-7.
Mariner 3, dead and still ensnared in its faulty launch shroud, in a large orbit around the sun.
- "JPL Technical Memorandum No. 33-229, To Mars: The Odyssey of Mariner IV" (pdf). Jet Propulsion Laboratory/California Institute of Technology, NASA. 1965-01-01: 21–23. Retrieved 2012-11-03.
- Mariner 3 Mission Profile by NASA's Solar System Exploration
- Space Flight Operations Plan Mariner Mars '64 (PDF)
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