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What is Mariner 10 and how is it connected to Mercury?

What is Mariner 10 and how is it connected to Mercury?

Mariner 10 was the seventh successful launch in the Mariner series and the first spacecraft to visit Mercury. The spacecraft flew by Mercury three times in a retrograde heliocentric orbit and returned images and data on the planet. Mariner 10 returned the first-ever close-up images of Venus and Mercury.

What was the purpose Mariner 10?

The primary goal of the Mariner 10 was to study the atmosphere (if any), surface and physical characteristics of Mercury. Soon after leaving Earth orbit, the spacecraft returned striking photos of both Earth and the Moon as it sped to its first destination, Venus.

Is Mariner 10 still in orbit around Mercury?

NASA commanded Mariner 10 to turn off its transmitter on March 24, 1975, after the spacecraft ran out of fuel. Today, Mariner 10 is still presumably orbiting the sun, but we haven’t heard anything from the spacecraft since then. Despite Mariner 10’s troubles, a lot of science was performed.

What planet is the windiest?

Saturn is also the ‘windiest’ planet, with atmospheric winds of up to 1600 kilometres per hour, much stronger than in the atmosphere of Jupiter. Saturn is composed mainly of hydrogen and helium. The ringed planet is nine times further away from the Sun than the Earth.

What was the purpose of the Mariner 10 mission?

Mariner 10 was the only mission to Mercury until NASA’s MESSENGER mission more than 30 years later. On its way to Mercury, Mariner 10 became the first spacecraft to use the gravity of one planet (in this case, Venus) to reach another. This has become an extremely important technique.

What kind of antenna did Mariner 10 have?

Mariner 10 carried a motor driven high-gain dish antenna, a 1.37 m diameter aluminum honeycomb-disk parabolic reflector, which was mounted on a boom on the side of the spacecraft. A low-gain omnidirectional antenna was mounted at the end of a 2.85 m boom extending from the anti-solar face of the spacecraft.

What kind of atmosphere does Mariner 10 have?

Mariner 10 also discovered that Mercury has a tenuous atmosphere consisting primarily of helium, as well as a magnetic field and a large iron-rich core. Its radiometer readings suggested that Mercury has a night time temperature of −183 °C (−297 °F) and maximum daytime temperatures of 187 °C (369 °F).

How many miles would Mariner 10 deviate from its course?

If Mariner 10 was to maintain a course to Mercury, its trajectory could deviate no more than 200 kilometers (120 mi) from a critical point in the vicinity of Venus.