MARS' AND PLUTO'S FIRST IMAGES
FIRST IMAGES OF MARS-PLUTO
Almost 50 years to the day we received our first images of Mars, we expect our first images of Pluto!
First Close Up Image of Mars by Mariner 4 - July 1965
This is the first close-up image ever taken of Mars. This shows an area about 205 miles (330 km) across by 746 miles (1200 km) from the edge to the bottom left of the frame. The area is near the boundary of Elysium Planitia to the west and Arcadia Planitia to the east. The hazy area barely visible above the limb on the left side of the image may be clouds.
New Horizons Spacecraft Displays Pluto's Big Heart
Pluto nearly fills the frame in this image from the Long Range Reconnaissance Imager (LORRI) aboard NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft, taken on July 13, 2015 when the spacecraft was 476,000 miles (768,000 kilometers) from the surface.
Credit: NASA/JHU APL/SwRI
NASA's New Horizons Spacecraft did the first-time ever flyby of this dwarf planet on July 14, 2015,
Pluto Approach Image
A portrait from the final approach. Pluto and Charon display striking color and brightness contrast in this composite image from July 11, showing high-resolution black-and-white LORRI images colorized with Ralph data collected from the last rotation of Pluto. Color data being returned by the spacecraft now will update these images, bringing color contrast into sharper focus.
The Steps of Exploration
New Horizons FlybyNew Horizons did what we call a flyby, which means to fly past the planet, just like the first missions to Mars did back in 1965.
When we were just starting out in solar system exploration, the very first missions simply flew by Mars, taking as many pictures as possible on their way past.
As our knowledge grew we began putting spacecraft in orbit around Mars for longer-term studies. Then, with even more capabilities, we began to land on Mars. Today, we have landed on multiple places on Mars.
Current Landed Missions: