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Ran out of fuel it too shallow answer. There should be something else like uncontrolled spinning and making waste radio noise. But this could be good experiment how long probe would survive so close to sun.

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  • $\begingroup$ The survival time would depend on the orientation of the sun shade of mariner 10. But if the orientation of Mariner 10 to the sun was unknown, the experiment was meaningless. $\endgroup$
    – Uwe
    Jan 13, 2017 at 14:53

1 Answer 1

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When Mariner 10 ran out of fuel, it no longer had the ability to point its high-gain antenna at Earth. There was no benefit to leaving the radio on, and leaving it on meant there was a chance its transmissions would interfere with other missions, so it was switched off.

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