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An artist's picture of MESSENGER orbiting Mercury
Organization: NASA / APL
Mission type: Flyby / Orbiter
Satellite of: Mercury
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, was an unmanned NASA and APL spacecraft.[1] It was orbiting and studying the planet Mercury.[1] Its mission lasted 10 years, 8 months and 28 days.

It was launched on August 3, 2004[1][2] at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station. It was aboard a Boeing Delta II rocket.[2] After launch, the probe did several fly-bys and deep space manoeuvres to gain the right trajectory and speed.[1]

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.[1][3] 100% mapping was completed in March 2013 and the probe continued its studies. On April 30, 2015, it crashed into Mercury. It crashed near the crater Janáček.

References[change | change source]

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 How it Works, Imagine Publishing (23), p. 48-49, 2011-07-14  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  2. 2.0 2.1 "Launch Coverage: MESSENGER Mission". NASA. Retrieved 2011-07-30. 
  3. Murchie, Scott L.; Vervack Jr., Ronald J.; Anderson, Brian J. (March 2011), "Journey to the Innermost Planet", Scientific American, New York, 304 (3), pp. 26–31