On July 14, 1965, the Mariner 4 spacecraft, as it passed by Mars, took the first close-up photographs of the planet, which were then sent to Earth. It was the first time in history that a human probe had photographed another planet up close. Mariner 4 was launched in November of the previous year (1964). It took him about seven and a half months to travel to Mars. The photos were taken as Mariner 4 was passing by Mars at a distance of about 10,000 kilometers. The closest approach point to Mars was 9,846 kilometers away from the surface of that planet.
21 photos were taken and part of the 22nd photo. These recordings were stored first on a tape recorder in the probe, and then their contents were broadcast to Earth, twice in a row, to avoid flaws and errors. It was a digital transmission, which included approximately 634 KB of data.
Photographs of the surface of Mars have shown that this is a planet quite drilled with craters. For some, these photographs have diminished hopes of any intelligent life on Mars.