Update! I've just run across the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory video Five Ways Mariner 4 Changed Mars Exploration and it mentions this "paint by numbers" representation of "the first digital image of Mars from space". Perhaps with these photos, the "space artists" can be recognized?

This video is the intro to the longer video of the Von Karman lecture 1965: Discovery at Mars by Baggett, on the same channel. This video contains extensive file footage of people involved in Mariner 4.

Mariner 4 "paint by numbers" space artists

Mariner 4 "paint by numbers" space artists

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above: "A "real-time data translator" machine converted Mariner 4 digital image data into numbers printed on strips of paper. Too anxious to wait for the official processed image, employees from the Voyager Telecommunications Section attached these strips side by side to a display panel and hand-colored the numbers like a paint-by-numbers picture." From Space.com's Mariner 4: First Spacecraft to Mars. Credit: NASA

The COSMOS Magazine article First mission to Mars: Mariner 4’s special place in history July 14, 1965, forever changed the way we see Mars. Tim Wallace looks back at one of NASA’s greatest triumphs recounts some of the excitement that NASA scientists and engineers must have felt during:

...humanity’s first up-close encounter with the Red Planet on July 14, 1965, when the pioneering Mariner 4 spacecraft took the first detailed photographs of the Martian surface, paving the way for future missions to successfully land a probe on the ground.

Remember, this is several years before the first Moon landing!

One of the many interesting images in the article is this the photo shown below.

Question: Who were the "space artists" who were essentially doing this (possibly the world's first) paint by numbers rendition of Mars.

Digital image data transmitted by Mariner was converted by a "real-time data translator" into numbers printed on thin strips of paper. Too impatient to wait for the official processed image, members of the telecommunications section at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory manually arranged the strips and hand-coloured the numbers to produce the above picture. The completed image was subsequently framed and presented to JPL’s director, William Pickering.

Mariner-4 hand-colored image

above: "A hand-rendered picture from data transmitted by Mariner 4, made by eager scientists who didn’t want to wait for the official image. CREDIT: NASA / JPL-CALTECH / DAN GOODS" From COSMOS Magazine.


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