As part of the wider Mariner program
, in 1969 Mariner 6 and Mariner 7
(Mariner Mars 69A / 69B) completed the first dual mission to Mars
, flying over the equator
and south polar regions and analysing atmosphere and surface with remote sensors as well as recording and relaying hundreds of pictures. The mission's goals were to study the surface and atmosphere of Mars during close flybys to establish the basis for future investigations, particularly those relevant to the search for extraterrestrial life, and to demonstrate and develop technologies required for future Mars missions and other long-duration missions far from the Sun. Mariner 6 also had the objective of providing experience and data which would be useful in programming the Mariner 7 encounter 5 days later.
Percival Lawrence Lowell
(March 13, 1855 – November 12, 1916) was a businessman, author, mathematician, and astronomer
who fueled speculation that there were canals
, founded the Lowell Observatory
, and formed the beginning of the effort that led to the discovery of Pluto
14 years after his death. The choice of the name Pluto and its symbol were partly influenced by his initials PL.
Percival Lowell, a descendant of the Boston Lowell family, was the brother of A. Lawrence, president of Harvard University, and Amy, an imagist poet, critic, and publisher. Percival graduated from the Noble and Greenough School in 1872 and Harvard University in 1876 with distinction in mathematics. At his college graduation, he gave a speech, considered very advanced for its time, on the "Nebular Hypothesis." He was later awarded honorary degrees from Amherst College and Clark University.