Latest Mercury spacecraft Stories

2009-06-02 11:30:00

As the closest planet to the sun, Mercury is scorching hot, with daytime temperatures of more than 800 degrees Fahrenheit (approximately 450 degrees Celsius). It is also the smallest rocky planet, so its gravity is weak, only about 38 percent of Earth's. These conditions make it hard for the planet to hold on to its atmosphere, which is extremely thin, and invisible to the human eye. However, it can be seen by special instruments attached to telescopes and spacecraft like MESSENGER (MErcury...

2009-04-30 13:23:00

WASHINGTON, April 30 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- A NASA spacecraft gliding over the surface of Mercury has revealed that the planet's atmosphere, the interaction of its surrounding magnetic field with the solar wind, and its geological past display greater levels of activity than scientists first suspected. The probe also discovered a previously unknown large impact basin about 430 miles in diameter - equal to the distance between Washington and Boston. (Logo:...

2009-04-30 13:36:29

Data from a U.S. space agency probe flying over Mercury's surface suggest the planet has greater levels of activity that scientists suspected. The National Aeronautics and Space Administration's Mercury Surface, Space Environment, Geochemistry and Ranging spacecraft, known as Messenger, has measured the planet's atmosphere, the interaction of its surrounding magnetic field with the solar wind, and its geological past. The probe also discovered a previously unknown impact basin about 430 miles...

2009-04-30 15:00:00

NASA's live media teleconference held earlier today included a panel of experts working on the U.S. space program's MESSENGER instrument that discussed new data and findings revealed by the planet Mercury's makeup. The MErcury Surface, Space ENvironment, GEochemistry, and Ranging (MESSENGER) spacecraft's second flyby of the planet in October 2008 showed that the planet's atmosphere, magnetosphere, and geological past are all characterized by much greater levels of activity than astronomers...

2009-04-27 15:10:00

NASA will host a media teleconference on Thursday, April 30, at 2 p.m. EDT to discuss new data and findings revealed by the Mercury Surface, Space Environment, Geochemistry, and Ranging spacecraft known as MESSENGER. The spacecraft is the first mission designed to orbit the planet closest to the sun. The probe flew past Mercury on Jan. 14, 2008, and Oct. 6, 2008, conducting the first up-close measurements of the planet since Mariner 10's final flyby on March 16, 1975. The briefing...

2008-12-09 09:05:00

MESSENGER completed the second part of a two-part deep-space maneuver today, providing the remaining 10% velocity change needed to place the probe on course to fly by Mercury for the third time in September 2009. Unlike most maneuvers, this one was conducted in a so-called "open loop," explained MESSENGER Project Manager Peter Bedini. "In closed-loop maneuvers, the accelerometers are used to trim the burn, and thrusters are employed as needed to adjust the direction as perceived by the...

2008-10-29 12:35:00

A NASA spacecraft gliding over the battered surface of Mercury for the second time this year has revealed more previously unseen real estate on the innermost planet. The probe also has produced several science firsts and is returning hundreds of new photos and measurements of the planet's surface, atmosphere and magnetic field. The MErcury Surface, Space ENvironment, GEochemistry, and Ranging, or MESSENGER, spacecraft flew by Mercury shortly after 4:40 a.m. EDT, on Oct. 6. It completed a...

2008-10-08 13:55:00

NASA's Mercury Messenger passed within 200km of the planet on Monday collecting about 1,200 new images. On Oct. 6, 2008, at roughly 4:40 a.m. ET, Messenger flew by Mercury for the second time this year, according to NASA. NASA officials said the flyby also gave Messenger the gravity tug it needed to get on to the right path to go into orbit in 2011. "The Messenger team is extremely pleased by the superb performance of the spacecraft and the payload," said chief scientist Sean Solomon of the...

2008-10-07 09:55:00

When Mariner 10 flew past Mercury three times in 1974 and 1975, the probe imaged less than half the planet. In January, during MESSENGER's first flyby, its cameras returned images of about 20 percent of the planet's surface missed by Mariner 10. Yesterday, at 4:40 am EDT, MESSENGER successfully completed its second flyby of Mercury, and its cameras captured more than 1,200 high-resolution and color images of the planet "“ unveiling another 30 percent of Mercury's surface that had never...

2008-10-06 08:10:00

MESSENGER's engineering and operations teams convened at the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory (APL) in Laurel, Md., Sunday afternoon to confirm the health and readiness of the spacecraft. "All spacecraft sub-systems and instruments reported nominal operations indicating that MESSENGER is ready for its second encounter with Mercury," said MESSENGER Systems Engineer Eric Finnegan of APL. At 6:05 p.m. EDT the last bits of data from the spacecraft were received as it...

Latest Mercury spacecraft Reference Libraries

2004-10-19 04:45:40

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...

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Word of the Day
  • Like a worm in form or movement; vermiform; tortuous or sinuous; also, writhing or wriggling.
  • Like the track or trace of a worm; appearing as if worm-eaten; vermiculate.
  • Marked with fine, close-set, wavy or tortuous lines of color; vermiculated.
  • A form of rusticated masonry which is so wrought as to appear thickly indented with worm-tracks.
This word ultimately comes from the Latin 'vermis,' worm.