[vii] RARELY IN THE LIFETIME of an individual is he privileged to witness and be part of an historic first for mankind. Such has been my privilege. Even more rarely is one privileged to be part of such a dedicated, competent, and professional group as comprised the Mariner Venus/ Mercury Project Team. It was a moderately small group of diverse talents, dedicated to accomplishing an historic scientific voyage to Mercury by way of Venus, and to do it within tight schedule and cost constraints.
These people met and exceeded the challenges and further distinguished themselves several times during the flight of Mariner 10 when emergencies were encountered which threatened the success of the mission. Their professional response to these emergencies proved the competence of this truly remarkable team of NASA, Boeing, Philco-Ford, Planning Research Corporation, university, and Jet Propulsion Laboratory people. Without this team the exciting discoveries made on the Mariner 10 flight to Venus and Mercury would not have been possible.
W. Eugene Giberson
[vi] THE AUTHORS ARE GRATEFUL for comments and suggestions from many persons connected with this historic voyage to the innermost planet. Many scientists and project staff members provided material during interviews which were part of the research for this book. Of particular importance were valuable initial suggestions or later comments on all or parts of the several drafts by H. S. Bridge, A. L. Broadfoot, V. C. Clarke, Jr., N. W. Cunningham, G. E. Danielson, Jr., R. Dod, J. Eraker, W. E. Giberson, H. T. Howard, B. C. Murray, N. F. Ness, W. Purdie, J. A. Simpson, R. G. Strom, and J. N. Wilson.
Personnel from the Jet Propulsion Laboratory's Mariner Venus/Mercury Project staff, Public Information Office, Technical Information and Documentation Division, and others were particularly helpful in providing information, arranging interviews, and producing the book. Members of the teams associated with TV imaging and processing the pictures, including Nancy Evans and James M. Soha, must receive special thanks for providing many illustrations of Venus and Mercury included herein.