Mariner 2, the first human probe to Venus, launched from Cape Canaveral on this day in 1962. Mariner 2 was the first spacecraft to encounter another planet, and confirmed that Venus has cool clouds and an extremely hot surface.
Mariner 2 also set the stage for future extremely successful Mariner missions, including Mariner 4, the first spacecraft to get a close look at Mars, and Mariner 9, the first spacecraft to orbit another planet.
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