Launched november 3, 1973 from Cape Canaveral in United States the Mariner 10 spacecraft was the first spacecraft to visit the innermost planet Mercury. It was also the first spacecraft to use the gravitational pull of one planet to reach another, a great technological achievement. Mariner 10 returned the first-ever close-up images of Venus and Mercur, as it used the gravitational pull from Venus to reach Mercury.
The primary scientific objectives of the Mariner 10 mission were to measure Mercury's environment, atmosphere, surface, and body characteristics and to make similar investigations of Venus.
Launch date: November 3, 1973
Launch site: Cape Canaveral
Launch vehicle: Atlas-Centaur
Spacecraft weight: 473.9 kg