was the last spacecraft
of the Mariner program
, launched on November 3 1973
An unmanned space mission it was launched approximately 2 years after Mariner 9 and its mission was to explore Mercury and Venus.
Mariner 10 made use of a "gravitational slingshot", using Venus to bend its flight path. Using a near-ultraviolet filter, it produced photographs of the Venusian chevron clouds and performed other atmospheric studies.
On March 29 and September 21, 1974, and March 16, 1975; Mariner 10 passed by Mercury and was able to map 40-45% of the planet. No spacecraft has since returned to Mercury.
Mariner 11 and Mariner 12 were redesignated as Voyager 1 and Voyager 2.