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John Dorhauer

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Mercury

In 1974, Mariner 10 took the first close-up pictures of Mercury. It was launched 3 Nov 1973. On its way to Mercury, Mariner 10 made its first flyby of Venus on 5 Feb 1974 and discovered evidence of rotating clouds. The mission required more course corrections than any previous mission and was the first spacecraft to use the gravitational pull of one planet to help it reach another planet. In three flybys past Mercury, it mapped about half of the planet's surface. It found a thin atmosphere and a magnetic field. This craft was also the first to use the solar wind as a means of locomotion; when the probe's thruster fuel ran low, scientists used the solar panels as sails to make course corrections. It ended a series of Mariner missions.[Image: Mercury shown from a mozaic of images with Marine 10 inset]

The Sailor And The Pirate

A sailor meets a pirate in a bar, and take turns boasting of their adventures on the high seas. The sailor notes that the pirate has a peg-leg, hook, and an eyepatch.

The sailor asks "So, how did you end up with the peg-leg?"

The pirate replies "We were in a storm at sea, and I was swept overboard into a school of sharks. Just as my men were pulling me out a shark bit my leg off."

"Wow!" said the sailor. "What about your hook"?

"Well...", replied the pirate, "While my men and I were plundering in the middle east, I was caught stealing from a merchant and the punishment for theft in the middle east is the loss of the hand that steals"

"Incredible!" remarked the sailor. "How did you get the eyepatch"?

"A sea gull dropping fell into my eye.", replied the pirate.

"You lost your eye to a sea gull dropping?" the sailor asked incredulously.

"Well...", said the pirate, "..it was my first day with the hook."

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