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The Race to Mars 1965 1969 1971-72 1973-74 1976 1988 1993 1996 1997 1999 2001 2003-04 2005 Milestones in exploration

Click on the years below to follow the race to Mars...


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The first close-up image ever taken of Mars
1965

The first close-up pictures of Mars are taken by the Nasa space craft Mariner 4 as it flies by the planet. The 22 images - the first taken by a planetary space craft - show a barren wasteland of craters.

The same year, a Soviet Union spacecraft misses the launch window for the Red Planet but is sent into space anyway. It manages to fly past our Moon, taking close-up pictures.

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