March 17, 2003
Mariner 10's first image of Mercury acquired on March 24, 1974. During its flight, Mariner 10's trajectory brought it behind the lighted hemisphere of Mercury, where this image was taken, in order to acquire important measurements with other instruments. This picture was acquired from a distance of 3,340,000 miles (5,380,000 km) from the surface of Mercury. The diameter of Mercury (3,031 miles; 4,878 km) is about 1/3 that of Earth.
Topics: Disaster Accident, Environment, Mariner 10, Terrestrial planets, Mercury spacecraft, MESSENGER, Mercury, Mariner program