Tuesday, November 29, 2011

MESSENGER at Mercury Update

Hey Space Placers!

NASA's MESSENGER mission around Mercury has made the news lately. The mission was a winner in "Popular Science" as it was named a winner in the magazine's 24th annual "Best of What's New" in the Aviation and Space category. [more].

Also on Nov. 14th, NASA announced that it will extend the MESSENGER mission for an additional year of orbital operations at Mercury beyond the planned end of the primary mission on March 17, 2012. The MESSENGER probe became the first spacecraft to orbit the innermost planet on March 18, 2011. [more]

The spacecraft  has returned over 60,000 images and will continue to return more as time goes on. 9 of those images were combined to show a portion of the limb of Mercury in a view that makes you feel like you "are there". Go to the link and click on the image to see the expanded view http://messenger.jhuapl.edu/gallery/sciencePhotos/image.php?gallery_id=2&image_id=699


There will be more news, views and discoveries about this fascinating planet in the months to come.

Sky Guy in VA

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