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, was an unmanned NASA and APL spacecraft. It was orbiting and studying the planet Mercury. Its mission lasted 10 years, 8 months and 28 days.
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. On April 30, 2015, it crashed into Mercury. It crashed near the crater Janáček.
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