Mariner 10: one last visit to Mercury

Mariner 10The NASA/JPL probe to the inner planets, Mariner 10, makes its last flyby of Mercury, zipping over the planet’s north pole at an altitude of just over 200 miles, and taking the last close-up pictures of Mercury until the Messenger space probe in 2008. Just over a week after its final Mercury encounter, Mariner 10 runs out of fuel and is instructed to shut down. The next Mariner probes, Mariners 11 and 12, are slated to venture toward the outer solar system, and eventually undergo a name change, becoming Voyagers 1 and 2 – making Mariner 10 the last of the Mariner space probes.

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