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Saturday, January 28, 2023

Red Planet Day: Spotlight on Mariner 4, the First Spacecraft to Reach Mars

Red Planet Day is observed every November 28 in remembrance of the Mariner 4 spacecraft

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Russell Chattaraj
Russell Chattaraj
Mechanical engineering graduate, writes about science, technology and sports, teaching physics and mathematics, also played cricket professionally and passionate about bodybuilding.

UNITED STATES: November 28 is designated as Red Planet Day each year. Mars, sometimes known as the Red Planet, is our solar system’s fourth planet.

Red Planet Day is observed annually on November 28 in honour of Mariner 4, the first spacecraft to land on Mars. It was launched on the same date in 1964. After over eight months of travel, the spacecraft successfully accomplished a fly-by of the red planet on July 14, 1965.

Mariner 4’s key role in exploring the Red Planet

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Mars is a chilly, arid desert, and there is no air there. It is a dynamic planet with seasons, polar ice caps, canyons, and extinct volcanoes, as well as evidence of its once-greater activity.

The red planet has held a special allure for humanity since the beginning of time. The red planet has inspired many tales and myths and is currently the subject of intense scientific research.

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The Mariner 4 spacecraft was designed to collect data during fly-bys and communicate that information back to Earth to assist planetary exploration and close scientific research of Mars.

Around four billion years ago, Mars’ core lost all activity, its magnetic field weakened, and the solar wind eroded its atmosphere. At that point, Mars ceased to be habitable.

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Considering a multitude of reasons, including the presence of water in Mars’ soil that can be collected, it has long been considered the second most habitable planet in the solar system, only after Earth. Most importantly, there is enough sunlight to support life and it is neither too hot nor too cold.

There are many different gaseous layers surrounding the atmosphere of Mars. Water vapour, oxygen, carbon monoxide, hydrogen, and other noble gases can all be found in minute quantities on the planet.

Olympus Mons, the highest mountain in the solar system, is found on the planet Mars. It has no evidence to back up its activities.

Also Read: NASA’s Mars InSight Lander Bids Its Final Farewell as it Approaches Death

Author

  • Russell Chattaraj

    Mechanical engineering graduate, writes about science, technology and sports, teaching physics and mathematics, also played cricket professionally and passionate about bodybuilding.

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