The exploration of Mercury has a minor role in the space interests of the world
MESSENGER and BepiColombo are intended to gather complementary data to help scientists understand many of the mysteries discovered by Mariner 10's flybys
Mercury has not been a primary focus of many space programs. Because the planet is so close to the Sun and spins on its own axis very slowly,
The current interest in Mercury is derived from the unexpected observations of Mariner 10. Before Mariner 10, astronomers
Mariner 10 was a NASA probe whose primary objective was to observe the atmosphere, surface, and physical characteristics of Mercury and Venus
It was a low-cost mission completed for under $98 million
The mission ended when the probe's attitude control gas ran out on March 24, 1975.