Latest Mercury spacecraft Stories
If you look at our â€œWhere Is MESSENGER?â€ page, which displays the spacecraft's trajectory status, you'll see that we're right on Mercury's doorstep. MESSENGER's mission design and navigation teams met today at the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory (APL) in Laurel, Md., to discuss the spacecraft's current trajectory to determine if a last-minute trajectory-correction maneuver would be needed.
MESSENGER mission operators at the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory (APL) in Laurel, Md., have received the first optical navigation images from the spacecraft.
NASA's MESSENGER spacecraft, which is toting an $8.7 million University of Colorado at Boulder instrument to measure Mercury's wispy atmosphere and blistering surface, will make its second flyby of the mysterious, rocky planet Oct. 6.
It is now only slightly more than three weeks before the MESSENGER spacecraft flies by Mercury for the second time.
On September 4, the MESSENGER team announced that it would not need to implement a scheduled maneuver to adjust the probeâ€™s trajectory. This is the fourth time this year that such a maneuver has been called off.
Scientists have argued about the origins of Mercury's smooth plains and the source of its magnetic field for more than 30 years.
New scientific evidence suggests that deep inside the planet Mercury, iron â€œsnowâ€ forms and falls toward the center of the planet, much like snowflakes form in Earthâ€™s atmosphere and fall to the ground.
The International Astronomical Union (IAU) has approved new names for features on Mercury and agreed on a new theme for fossae on the planet. These newly christened features were discovered from images taken by the MESSENGER spacecraft during its first flyby of Mercury in January.
The MESSENGER spacecraft delivered a critical deep-space maneuver today â€“ 64 million miles (103 million kilometers) from Earth â€“ successfully firing its large bi-propellant engine to change the probeâ€™s trajectory and target it for its second flyby of Mercury on October 6, 2008.
Little more than three weeks after MESSENGERâ€™s first historic flyby of Mercury, the team this week began mapping out its trajectory and observation plans for the probeâ€™s second pass of the planet this fall.
The Planet Mercury -- in astronomy, nearest planet to the sun, at a mean distance of 36 million mi (58 million km); its period of revolution is 88 days. Mercury passes through phases similar to those of the moon as it completes each revolution about the sun, although the visible disk varies in size with respect to its distance from the earth. Because its greatest elongation is 28, it is seen only for a short time after sunset or before sunrise. Since observation of Mercury is...
- The act of sweetening by admixture of some saccharine substance.