Apr 05

Space Rocket History #436 – Pioneer 11

Pioneer 11 detected Saturn’s bow shock on Aug. 31, 1979, about 932,000 miles (1.5 million kilometers) out from the planet, thus providing the first conclusive evidence of the existence of Saturn’s magnetic field.

Pioneer 11 Launch

Pioneer 11 Beginning Gravity Slingshot Maneuver

Pioneer 11 Saturn Photo Taken 08/28/1979

Feb 09

Space Rocket History #382 – Mars 2 & 3 and Luna 18 & 19

This is how Deputy Chief Designer for OKB-1, Boris Chertok described the launch of Mars 3. “The red disk of the Sun was just touching the horizon and dramatically illuminated the rocket as it lifted off with a roar. Separation of the stages took place like a color animation display against the background of the darkened sky.”

Mars 2 & 3 Orbiter

Mars 3 Lander

Mars PrOPM Rover

Jan 26

Space Rocket History #381 – Mariner 8 & 9

Mariner 8 and 9 were virtually identical and designed to continue the atmospheric studies begun by Mariner 6 and 7, and to hopefully map over 70% of the Martian surface.

Mariner 8 and 9 were Identical

Launch of Mariner 9

Parts Diagram of Mariners 8 & 9

Dec 05

In Honor of NASA Mars Probe “InSight” – An Encore Presentation of Space Rocket History #46 – Mariner 4

Mariner 4’s primary objective was to conduct closeup scientific observations of Mars and to transmit these observations to Earth. Additional goals included performing field and particle measurements in interplanetary space, and providing experience and knowledge of engineering capabilities for interplanetary flights of long duration…

Mariner 4

Mariner 4

Launch on Atlas-Agena

Launch on Atlas-Agena

Mariner 4's Photo Path

Mariner 4’s Photo Path