A cratered area near Mercury's South Pole was photographed by Mariner 10 during its second flyby of the planet of September 21, 1974 (the spacecraft made its first encounter with Mercury on March 19, 1974). The plains between the craters are traversed by ridges and scarps. At lower right, the lineated and cratered terrain is part of the ejecta blasted from a large impact crater out of view of Mariner 10's TV cameras. The picture (FDS 166687) was taken from a range of 54,500 kilometers (33,850, miles) and covers an area 460 by 350 kilometers (285 by 217 miles). The day-night terminator is at right. North is at the top.
The Mariner 10 mission, managed by the Jet Propulsion Laboratory for NASA's Office of Space Science, explored Venus in February 1974 on the way to three encounters with Mercury-in March and September 1974 and in March 1975. The spacecraft took more than 7,000 photos of Mercury, Venus, the Earth and the Moon.