Mar 12

MESSENGER Completes Primary Mission at Mercury, Settles in for Another Year


Image credit: NASA/MESSENGER.

On March 17, 2012, MESSENGER successfully wrapped up a year-long campaign to perform the first complete reconnaissance of the geochemistry, geophysics, geologic history, atmosphere, magnetosphere, and plasma environment of the solar system’s innermost planet. The following day, March 18, 2012, marked the official start of an extended phase designed to build upon those discoveries. What MESSENGER has accomplished since its launch in August 2005 is “amazing,” says MESSENGER Mission Systems Engineer Eric Finnegan, of the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory (APL) in Laurel, Md.

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