An artist's picture of MESSENGER orbiting Mercury
|Organization:||NASA / APL|
|Mission type:||Flyby / Orbiter|
|Launch date:||August 3, 2004|
|Launch vehicle:||Boeing Delta II|
|Launch site:||Cape Canaveral Air Force Station|
MESSENGER, MErcury Surface, Space ENvironment, GEochemistry and Ranging, is an unmanned NASA and APL spacecraft. It is orbiting and studying the planet Mercury. It was launched on August 3, 2004 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station. It was aboard a Boeing Delta II rocket. After launch, the probe did several fly-bys and deep space manoeuvres to gain the right trajectory and speed. It completed 30% mapping of Mercury on January 14, 2008. MESSENGER made one more pass by Mercury in 2009, and on March 18, 2011 began to orbit Mercury. 100% mapping was completed in March 2013 and the probe continued its studies.
References[change | change source]
- How it Works (Imagine Publishing) (23): 48-49, 2011-07-14
- "Launch Coverage: MESSENGER Mission". NASA. http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/messenger/launch/index.html. Retrieved 2011-07-30.
- Murchie, Scott L.; Vervack Jr., Ronald J.; Anderson, Brian J. (March 2011), "Journey to the Innermost Planet", Scientific American (New York) 304 (3): 26-31