Amidst massive budget cuts, and an overall reduction in funding, NASA somehow manages to continue to be able to wow us on a regular basis. This time the space agency has released the first full map of the planet Mercury's surface.
The first planet in our solar system has not received much scientific attention over the course of modern space science mostly because it is too close to the sun to properly observe from earth. NASA's Messenger spacecraft has managed to negate that issue and since 2011 has been hard at work mapping the surface of Mercury.
NASA's Mariner spacecraft had previously imaged the surface of Mercury, but only managed to capture less than half the surface during a flyby in 1974 and 1975. Messenger is the first spacecraft to orbit the closest planet to the sun and used modern technology to image the surface.
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