March 10, 2011

NASA Media Telecon Previews First Spacecraft To Orbit Mercury

NASA will host a media teleconference at 1 p.m. EDT on Tuesday, March 15, to discuss the first spacecraft to orbit Mercury.

NASA's MErcury Surface, Space ENvironment, GEochemistry, and Ranging, or MESSENGER, will enter orbit at approximately 9 p.m. EDT on Thursday, March 17. The spacecraft has conducted more than a dozen laps through the inner solar system for the past 6.6 years.

Media teleconference participants are:

-- Andy Calloway, MESSENGER mission operations manager, Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory (APL) in Laurel, Md.

-- Carl Engelbrecht, MESSENGER propulsion subsystem lead, APL

-- Sean Solomon, MESSENGER principal investigator, Carnegie Institution of Washington

To participate and to receive dial-in instructions, reporters must contact Steve Cole at [email protected] or 202-358-0918.

During the briefing, related images will be available at:

Audio of the teleconference will be streamed live on NASA's website at:

At 10 a.m. EDT on Wednesday, March 16, NASA experts will hold a one-hour, live Web chat to answer questions about MESSENGER's orbital insertion. The chat window will open at 9:30 a.m. To participate, visit:

For more information about the mission, visit: