Two Days Until MESSENGERs Encounter with Mercury
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Two Days Until MESSENGER’s Encounter with Mercury

October 5, 2008
  • Date Acquired: October 4, 2008
  • Image Mission Elapsed Time (MET): 131580490
  • Instrument: Narrow Angle Camera (NAC) of the Mercury Dual Imaging System (MDIS)
  • Resolution: 25 kilometers/pixel (16 miles/pixel)
  • Scale: Mercury's diameter is 4880 kilometers (3030 miles)
  • Spacecraft Altitude: 980,000 kilometers (610,000 miles)
  • Sub-spacecraft Latitude and Longitude: 1.6°N, 139.5°E

Of Interest: The third set of optical navigation images has been completed, and everything looks just as planned for MESSENGER's second Mercury flyby less than two days from now. The first optical navigation images were taken about 77 hours before the spacecraft's planned closest distance to the planet. The second images were acquired about 65 hours prior to closest approach, and this third image set was taken about 53 hours before MESSENGER will pass 200 kilometers (124 miles) above Mercury's surface.

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