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FAQ - Mercury

1. Why is there no topographic map of Mercury?

In order to create a detailed topographic map, you need to bounce a radar or laser beam off of the surface. This is not easy to do when just flying by, but will be done once the spacecraft is in orbit. You can also get height information using a pair of stereo images, but this is not as good as radar or laser and isn’t typically used to create global topographic maps.
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