Mariner 2

Launch Time
Mon Aug 27, 1962 06:53 UTC

First spacecraft to reach the vicinity of another planet.


Atlas-LV3 Agena-B
Image Credit: USAF or NASA
General Dynamics
Status: Retired
Payload to LEO: 1,725 kg
Stages: 2
Strap-ons: 0

Mission Details

Mariner 2

Mariner 2 (Mariner-Venus 1962), an American space probe to Venus, was the first robotic space probe to conduct a successful planetary encounter. The first successful spacecraft in the NASA Mariner program, Mariner 2 was a simplified version of the Block I spacecraft of the Ranger program and an exact copy of Mariner 1. The missions of the Mariner 1 and 2 spacecraft are sometimes known as the Mariner R missions. Original plans called for the probes to be launched on the Atlas-Centaur, but serious developmental problems with that vehicle forced a switch to the much smaller Agena B stage. As such, the design of the Mariner R vehicles was greatly simplified. Far less instrumentation was carried than on the Soviet Venera probes of this period—for example, forgoing a TV camera—as the Atlas-Agena B had only half as much lift capacity as the Soviet 8K78 booster.

Payloads: 1
Total Mass: 203.0 kg
Heliocentric Orbit


LC-12, Cape Canaveral SFS, Florida, USA



48th orbital launch attempt


21st mission
10th mission of 1962
11th successful mission
2nd consecutive successful mission