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On Monday, January 14, 2008, at 19:04:39 UTC (2:04:39 pm EST), MESSENGER will pass a mere 200 kilometers (124 miles) above the surface of Mercury and will be the first spacecraft to visit Mercury in nearly a third of a century, since Mariner 10 flew by Mercury in 1974 and 1975.
Among the extensive scientific observations planned during the flyby is imaging a large portion of Mercury's surface that was not visible to the Mariner 10 mission.
MESSENGER's flyby will yield the first spacecraft images ever of these regions of Mercury's surface.
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