Mariner 10


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Mariner 10

A US spacecraft that executed the first dual-planet mission by making close approaches to Venus and, three times, to Mercury. Weighing 503 kg, it carried two television cameras that returned the first close-up views of Venus and Mercury. Other instruments included an infrared radiometer to measure Mercury's surface temperature; an ultraviolet spectrometer to detect atmospheric airglow and another to measure atmospheric absorption of solar ultraviolet radiation; and two magnetometers to monitor magnetic field variations throughout the flight.

During the Venus flyby at a distance of 5760 km on Feb. 5 1974, Mariner 10 returned 3500 photographs – those taken in ultraviolet radiation showing the planet's cloud cover and atmospheric circulation in unprecedented detail. Using the gravitational pull of Venus, the probe was placed on course for a Mercury flyby on Mar. 29 1974. After course corrections two more visits to Mercury took place on Sept. 21 1974 and Mar. 19 1975, each after two solar orbits by Mercury and one by Mariner 10. The three Mercury encounters, at minimum distances of 740 km, 48 000 km, and 330 km respectively, provided more than 10 000 photographs of Mercury and led to the discovery of the planet's magnetic field. See also Mercury; Venus.

References in periodicals archive ?
1974: The US spacecraft Mariner 10 took the first close-up pictures of Mercury.
In 1973 as part of the Mariner Program, NASA launched Mariner 10 towards which planet?
In 1973, as part of the Mariner Program, NASA launched Mariner 10 towards which planet?
1973 - Nasa launches the 'Mariner 10' space probe to Venus and Mercury.
It's the third voyage to the sun's closet planet, following NASA's Mariner 10 and Messenger missions.
La primera fue entre 1974 y 1975, cuando la Mariner 10 sobrevolo tres veces el planeta y tomo diez mil imagenes de su superficie; la segunda fue con la sonda Messenger, que sobrevolo Mercurio entre 2008 y 2009, y en 2011 se convirtio en la primera nave espacial que entro en su orbita; esta sonda detecto hielo de agua en los polos.
NASA's Mariner 10 did three flybys in 1974 and 1975, providing the first up-close images.
Nasa's Mariner 10 flew past the planet three times in 1974-75, and the American space agency's Messenger probe orbited Mercury from 2011 to 2015, taking photos of the surface.
Mariner 10 spacecraft in a solar orbit for three flybys of Mercury in the 1970s.
This effort scarcely needs to be justified to scientists who are (https://theconversation.com/the-more-we-learn-about-mercury-the-weirder-it-seems-55972) greatly puzzled by what the two previous missions to Mercury 6 Mariner 10 (1970s) and Messenger (2011-15) 6 have found.
Ever since Mariner 10 flew by Mercury in 1974 and 1975, researchers have known that the planet was darker than Earth's moon.
Little was known about the surface of Mercury until 1974 when the Mariner 10 spacecraft made a series of flybys past the tiny planet.