First TV Image of Mars

Jun 27, 2011
Image Credit: NASA/JPL/Dan Goods

(PhysOrg.com) -- A 'real-time data translator' machine converted a Mariner 4 digital image data into numbers printed on strips of paper.

Too anxious to wait for the official processed image, employees from the Voyager Telecommunications Section at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, attached these strips side by side to a display panel and hand colored the numbers like a paint-by-numbers picture.

The completed image was framed and presented to JPL director, William H. Pickering. Mariner 4 was launched on November 28, 1964 and journeyed for 228 days to the , providing the first close-range images of Mars.

The spacecraft carried a television camera and six other to study the and surface. The 22 photographs taken by Mariner revealed the existence of lunar type craters upon a desert-like surface.

After completing its mission, Mariner 4 continued past Mars to the far side of the Sun.

On Dec. 20, 1967, all operations of the spacecraft were ended.

Explore further: Contamination of impacted meteorites can happen quickly

More information: Visit photojournal.jpl.nasa.gov/catalog/PIA14033 for more information.

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User comments : 4

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mtc123
not rated yet Jun 27, 2011
"A 'real-time data translator' machine converted a Mariner 4 digital image data into numbers printed on strips of paper." "Mariner 4 was launched on November 28, 1964"
Digital....1964....Hmmmmmm......
Bob_Kob
not rated yet Jun 27, 2011
They had transistors back then..
hemitite
not rated yet Jun 27, 2011
And colored pencils too!
Javinator
5 / 5 (3) Jun 27, 2011
It must have been very exciting to work for NASA in the early days.

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