Mariner 2 spacecraft pre-launch, 1962.
© National Aeronautics & Space Administration / Science & Society
Technicians in the A&E Hangar at Cape Canaveral, Florida, attach the solar panels that will collect the Sun's energy to power the Mariner 2 unmanned probe. Mariner 2, launched on 27th August 1962, flew past Venus on 14th December 1962 after a flight of four months. The flyby was a complete succes, with Mariner's instruments returning much previously unsuspected information about Venus.