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View of planet Mercury
- Title View of planet Mercury
- Released 14/02/2007 10:27 am
- Copyright Courtesy USGS, and NASA
This view of Mercury is a mosaic built with photos taken by NASA's Mariner 10 mission six hours before the spacecraft flew past the planet on 29 March 1974. These images were taken from a distance of 5 380 000 kilometres.
Mercury was visited only by one spacecraft so far, NASA's Mariner 10 (1974) that flew by the planet in March and September 1974, and in March 1975. The Messenger spacecraft, launched by NASA in 2004, will enter in orbit around Mercury in 2011. BepiColombo, an ESA mission in cooperation with Japan, will be launched in 2013 and will reach planet Mercury in 2019. The mission, which will provide the most complete exploration yet of Mercury, consists of two spacecraft – the Mercury Planetary Orbiter (MPO) to map the planet, and the Mercury Magnetospheric Orbiter (MMO), to investigate its magnetosphere.