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Celestial Mechanics

NSSDCA ID: 1962-041A-08

Mission Name: Mariner 2
Principal Investigator:Dr. John D. Anderson


Deep Space Network (DSN) tracking data from Mariner 2 were used to obtain improved measurements of the masses of Venus and the Moon, the astronomical unit, and improved ephemerides of the Earth and Venus. The experiment used the on-board receiver and transmitter equipment in conjunction with DSN equipment to obtain Doppler measurements. Data were obtained at 12 hour intervals from September 5 to December 14, 1962, at 1 hour intervals until December 16, and then again at 12 hour intervals until January 4, 1963.

Alternate Names

  • Mariner2/CelestialMechanics


  • Astronomy: Celestial Mechanics
  • Planetary Science: Celestial Mechanics

Additional Information

Questions and comments about this experiment can be directed to: Dr. David R. Williams



NameRoleOriginal AffiliationE-mail
Mr. Michael J. SanderGeneral ContactNASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory
Dr. John D. AndersonPrincipal InvestigatorNASA Jet Propulsion

Selected References

  • Anderson, J. D., Determination of the masses of the moon and Venus and the astronomical unit from radio tracking data of the Mariner 2 spacecraft, JPL, Calif. Inst. Technol., TR 32-816, Pasadena, CA, July 1967.
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