On this day in 1964, the Mariner 4 spacecraft launched and completed the first Mars flyby, marking today as Red Planet Day. Mariner 4 took snapshots of the surface of Mars and gave us our first up-close view of the planet. While Mariner 4 was meant to capture data only for a few months, it stayed in orbit collecting solar wind data for several years.
Just two days ago, NASA landed the InSight spacecraft on Mars. InSight will go under the surface of Mars to learn more about its interior structure by measuring its temperature and seismic activity. Knowing more about the Mar’s interior structure will help us learn about its geological formation. As the geology and climate of Mars match most closely to Earth’s of all the planets, Mars stands out as the most promising planet for possible human settlements and the most likely place to search for signs of alien life!
Celebrate Red Planet Day with some of our books about Mars!
- Destination Mars: New Explorations of the Red Planet
- Mars in the Movies: A History
- Mars: Our Future on the Red Planet
- Mars: The Pristine Beauty of the Red Planet
- Mars Up Close: Inside the Curiosity Mission
- The Scientific Exploration of Mars
- A Traveler’s Guide to Mars: The Mysterious Landscapes of the Red Planet
- Visions of Mars: Essays on the Red Planet in Fiction and Science
We have fun films too!
- John Carter
- Mars Needs Moms
- The Martian
- The Martian Chronicles
- Mission Mars collection (Invaders from Mars, Attack from Mars, Flight to Mars)
- Red Planet
- Rocketship X-M
- Total Recall and Total Recall (2012)
Hope you have a Happy Red Planet Day!