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The first successful flybys of Jupiter and Saturn were made by Pioneers 10 and 11 in 1973 and 1979, but a unique alignment of planets brought the opportunity for a much more ambitious mission. The twin Voyager probes used gravitational slingshot" to tour the giant planets, swinging past Jupiter in 1979

orbiting mars

As the first spacecraft to orbit Mars, Mariner 9 (above) put an end to ideas that it was just a cratered, Moon-like world. Its photographs revealed canyons, volcanoes, and dried-up riverbeds (right).

orbiting mars

As the first spacecraft to orbit Mars, Mariner 9 (above) put an end to ideas that it was just a cratered, Moon-like world. Its photographs revealed canyons, volcanoes, and dried-up riverbeds (right).

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