Mariner IX was an unmanned spacecraft launched on May 30, 1971 with the purpose of exploring Mars. It reached the red planet on November 14th 1971, just ahead of the Soviet Mars 2 and 3 unmanned spacecrafts. After months of dust storms, it was finally able to send back clear images of the planet's surface, revealing an incredible rocky landscape reminiscent of the surface of the moon, complete with impact craters, canyons, valleys, volcanoes, and dry lake beds.
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