FACTOID # 25: If you're tired of sitting in traffic on your way to work, move to North Dakota.
 
 Home   Encyclopedia   Statistics   States A-Z   Flags   Maps   FAQ   About 
 
WHAT'S NEW
RELATED ARTICLES
People who viewed "MESSENGER" also viewed:
 

SEARCH ALL

FACTS & STATISTICS    Advanced view

Search encyclopedia, statistics and forums:

 

 

(* = Graphable)

 

 


Encyclopedia > MESSENGER
MESSENGER
The MESSENGER spacecraft.
An artist's interpretation of the MESSENGER spacecraft at Mercury.
Organization NASA
Mission type Fly-by(s)/orbit
Flyby of Earth, Venus, & Mercury
Satellite of Mercury
Orbital insertion date (eta) March 18, 2011
Launch date August 3, 2004
Launch vehicle Delta II 7925H-9.5
NSSDC ID 2004-030A
Webpage messenger.jhuapl.edu
Mass 1,093 kg (2,410 lb)
Power 450 W (Mercury orbit nominal)

The MErcury Surface, Space ENvironment, GEochemistry and Ranging (MESSENGER) probe is a NASA spacecraft, launched August 3, 2004 to study the characteristics and environment of Mercury from orbit. Specifically, the mission is to characterize the chemical composition of Mercury's surface, the geologic history, the nature of the magnetic field, the size and state of the core, the volatile inventory at the poles, and the nature of Mercury's exosphere and magnetosphere over a nominal orbital mission of one Earth year. Image File history File links Gnome_globe_current_event. ... ISS in earth orbit. ... Image File history File links Shuttle. ... This article is about the NASA space mission. ... Download high resolution version (1200x955, 57 KB)Mercury MESSENGER spacecraft -- public domain from NASA.gov File history Legend: (cur) = this is the current file, (del) = delete this old version, (rev) = revert to this old version. ... For other uses, see NASA (disambiguation). ... This article is about Earth as a planet. ... This article is about the planet. ... This article is about the planet. ... This article is about the planet. ... is the 77th day of the year (78th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... 2011 (MMXI) will be a common year starting on Saturday of the Gregorian calendar. ... is the 215th day of the year (216th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 2004 (MMIV) was a leap year starting on Thursday of the Gregorian calendar. ... The Delta II family of launch vehicles was designed and built by Boeings Integrated Defense Systems division and has been in service since 1989. ... The International Designator (or NSSDC ID) is an international naming convention for satellites. ... For other uses, see NASA (disambiguation). ... The Space Shuttle Discovery as seen from the International Space Station. ... is the 215th day of the year (216th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 2004 (MMIV) was a leap year starting on Thursday of the Gregorian calendar. ... This article is about the planet. ... Two bodies with a slight difference in mass orbiting around a common barycenter. ... The chemical composition of a substance refers to the elements of which the substance is composed. ... The geologic timescale is used by geologists and other scientists to describe the timing and relationships between events that have occured during the history of the Earth. ... For the indie-pop band, see The Magnetic Fields. ... The planetary core consists of the innermost layer(s) of a planet. ... [fAgot png|thumb|200px|right|Atmosphere diagram showing the exosphere and other layers. ... A magnetosphere is the region around an astronomical object in which phenomena are dominated or organized by its magnetic field. ... A year (from Old English gēr) is the time between two recurrences of an event related to the orbit of the Earth around the Sun. ...


The mission is the first to visit Mercury in over 30 years; the only previous probe to visit Mercury was Mariner 10, which completed its mission in March 1975. The MESSENGER has vastly improved scanning capability, with cameras capable of resolving surface features to 18 meters (59 ft) across compared to the 1.6 kilometres (0.99 mi) resolution of the Mariner 10. MESSENGER will also be able to image the entire planet; Mariner 10 was only able to observe one hemisphere that was lit during its flybys. The Mariner 10 probe. ... For other uses, see Camera (disambiguation). ... Image resolution describes the detail an image holds. ... This article is about the unit of length. ... A foot (plural: feet or foot;[1] symbol or abbreviation: ft or, sometimes, ′ – a prime) is a unit of length, in a number of different systems, including English units, Imperial units, and United States customary units. ... The celestial sphere is divided by the celestial equator. ...


The contrived acronym MESSENGER was chosen because Mercury was the messenger of the gods according to Roman mythology. A backronym or bacronym is a reverse acronym, that is, the words of the expanded term were chosen to fit the letters of the acronym. ... A sculpture of the Roman god Mercury by 17th-century Flemish artist Artus Quellinus. ... This article is about the NASA space mission. ... A head of Minerva found in the ruins of the Roman baths in Bath Roman mythology, the mythological beliefs of the people of Ancient Rome, can be considered as having two parts. ...

Contents

Travel to Mercury

Launch of MESSENGER.
Launch of MESSENGER.

The Boeing Delta II rocket carrying MESSENGER lifted off from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Florida at 02:15:56 EDT on August 3, 2004. An hour later, NASA confirmed that MESSENGER had successfully separated from the third stage booster and commenced its roundabout route to Mercury. Image File history File linksMetadata Download high-resolution version (2225x3000, 588 KB) (All user names refer to en. ... Image File history File linksMetadata Download high-resolution version (2225x3000, 588 KB) (All user names refer to en. ... The Boeing Company (NYSE: BA, TYO: 7661) is a major aerospace and defense corporation, originally founded by William Edward Boeing. ... The Delta II family of launch vehicles was designed and built by Boeings Integrated Defense Systems division and has been in service since 1989. ... A Saturn V launch vehicle sends Apollo 15 on its way to the moon. ... The Bumper V-2 was the first missile launched at Cape Canaveral on July 24, 1950. ... This article is about the U.S. State of Florida. ... The Eastern Standard Time Zone is a geographic region that keeps time by subtracting five hours from Coordinated Universal Time (UTC). ... is the 215th day of the year (216th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 2004 (MMIV) was a leap year starting on Thursday of the Gregorian calendar. ...


Travel to Mercury requires an extremely large velocity change, or delta-v, because Mercury lies deeper in the Sun's gravity well; a spacecraft traveling to Mercury is greatly accelerated as it falls toward the Sun, so there must be a mechanism to slow it. Further, because Mercury does not have an atmosphere thick enough to aerobrake on arrival; the spacecraft must use rockets to slow down enough to go into orbit. To make the trip feasible, MESSENGER makes extensive use of gravity assist maneuvers. These reduce the energy (and thus fuel) requirements, but greatly prolong the trip. Finally, for additional fuel savings, the thrust used for insertion into orbit about Mercury will be minimized, resulting in a notably elliptical orbit. Besides the advantage of saving fuel, such an orbit allows the spacecraft to measure solar wind and magnetic fields at a variety of distances from the planet, yet still get close-up measurements and photographs of the surface. This article is about the planet. ... General In general physics delta-v is simply the change in velocity. ... A gravity well is the scientific/science fictional term for the distortion in space-time caused by a massive body such as a planet. ... An artists conception of a spacecraft aerobraking Aerobraking is a technique used by spacecraft in which it uses drag within a planetary atmosphere to reduce its velocity relative to the planet. ... In orbital mechanics and aerospace engineering, a gravitational slingshot or gravity assist is the use of the gravity of a planet or other celestial body to alter the path and speed of a spacecraft. ... In astrodynamics or celestial mechanics a elliptic orbit is an orbit with the eccentricity greater than 0 and less than 1. ... For other uses, see Fuel (disambiguation). ...


MESSENGER performed a successful Earth swing-by a year after launch, on 2 August 2005, with the closest approach at 19:13 UTC at an altitude of 2,347 kilometers (1,458 statute miles) over central Mongolia. On December 12, 2005, a 524 second long burn ('Deep-Space Maneuver' or 'DSM-1') of the large thruster adjusted the trajectory for the upcoming Venus swing-by.[1] MESSENGER made its first flyby of Venus at 08:34 UTC on October 24, 2006 at an altitude of 2,992 kilometers (1,859 mi). A second flyby of Venus was made at 23:08 UTC on June 5, 2007 at an altitude of 338 kilometers (210 mi). On October 17, 2007, 'Deep-Space Maneuver-2' or 'DSM-2' was executed successfully, putting MESSENGER on target for its first flyby of Mercury.[2] MESSENGER made a flyby of Mercury on 14 January 2008 (closest approach 200 km above surface of Mercury at 19:04:39 UTC),[3] and will make two more flybys of Mercury on October 6, 2008 and September 29, 2009, successively slowing down the spacecraft. Mercury orbit insertion will be on March 18, 2011, beginning a year-long orbital mission. This article is about Earth as a planet. ... is the 214th day of the year (215th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 2005 (MMV) was a common year starting on Saturday (link displays full calendar) of the Gregorian calendar. ... UTC redirects here. ... is the 346th day of the year (347th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 2005 (MMV) was a common year starting on Saturday (link displays full calendar) of the Gregorian calendar. ... is the 297th day of the year (298th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 2006 (MMVI) was a common year starting on Sunday of the Gregorian calendar. ... is the 156th day of the year (157th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 2007 (MMVII) was a common year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar in the 21st century. ... is the 290th day of the year (291st in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 2007 (MMVII) was a common year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar in the 21st century. ... is the 14th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar. ... 2008 (MMVIII) is the current year, a leap year that started on Tuesday of the Common Era (or Anno Domini), in accordance with the Gregorian calendar. ... UTC redirects here. ... is the 279th day of the year (280th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... 2008 (MMVIII) is the current year, a leap year that started on Tuesday of the Common Era (or Anno Domini), in accordance with the Gregorian calendar. ... is the 272nd day of the year (273rd in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... 2009 (MMIX) will be a common year starting on Thursday of the Gregorian calendar. ... is the 77th day of the year (78th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... 2011 (MMXI) will be a common year starting on Saturday of the Gregorian calendar. ...

MESSENGER's trajectory.
MESSENGER's trajectory.

During the Earth flyby, MESSENGER imaged the Earth and Moon and used its atmospheric and surface composition spectrometer to look at the Moon. The particle and magnetic field instruments investigated the Earth's magnetosphere. A magnetosphere is the region around an astronomical object in which phenomena are dominated or organized by its magnetic field. ...


The spacecraft was originally scheduled to launch during a 12-day window that opened May 11, 2004, but on March 26, 2004, NASA announced that a later launch window starting at July 30, 2004 with a length of 15 days would be used.[4] This significantly changed the trajectory of the mission and will delay the arrival at Mercury by two years. The original plan called for three swingby maneuvers past Venus, with Mercury orbit insertion scheduled for 2009. The new trajectory features one Earth flyby, two Venus flybys, and three Mercury flybys before orbit insertion on March 18, 2011. is the 131st day of the year (132nd in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 2004 (MMIV) was a leap year starting on Thursday of the Gregorian calendar. ... March 26 is the 85th day of the year (86th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 2004 (MMIV) was a leap year starting on Thursday of the Gregorian calendar. ... is the 211th day of the year (212th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 2004 (MMIV) was a leap year starting on Thursday of the Gregorian calendar. ... Orbit insertion is a maneuver performed by an inter-planetary spacecraft designed to allow the spacecraft to be captured into orbit around a planet or other body such as a moon. ... is the 77th day of the year (78th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... 2011 (MMXI) will be a common year starting on Saturday of the Gregorian calendar. ...


The navigation team is lead by KinetX, Inc. of Tempe, AZ. KinetX is the first private company to be responsible for navigation of a NASA deep space mission. In that role, they are responsible for determining all trajectory adjustments throughout the probe's flight through the inner solar system ensuring that MESSENGER arrives at Mercury with the proper velocity for orbit insertion. KinetX, Inc. ...


Mercury observation plan

MESSENGER's first image of the side of Mercury which was never seen by Mariner 10, from a distance of about 17,000 miles (27,000 km)
MESSENGER's first image of the side of Mercury which was never seen by Mariner 10, from a distance of about 17,000 miles (27,000 km)

The nominal orbit has a periapsis of 200 km (120 mi) at 60 degrees N latitude, and an apoapsis of 15,193 km (9,440 mi), a period of 12 hours and an inclination of 80 degrees. The periapsis will slowly rise due to solar perturbations to over 400 km (250 mi) at the end of 88 days (one Mercury year) at which point it will be readjusted to a 200 km (120 mi), 12 hour orbit via a two burn sequence. Data will be collected from orbit for one Earth year, the nominal end of the primary mission. Global stereo image coverage at 250 meters/pixel resolution is expected. The mission should also yield global composition maps, a 3-D model of Mercury's magnetosphere, topographic profiles of the northern hemisphere, gravity field to degree and order 16, altitude profiles of elemental species, and a characterization of the volatiles in permanently shadowed craters at the poles. This article is about several astronomical terms (apogee & perigee, aphelion & perihelion, generic equivalents based on apsis, and related but rarer terms. ... This article is about several astronomical terms (apogee & perigee, aphelion & perihelion, generic equivalents based on apsis, and related but rarer terms. ... For the science fiction novella by William Shunn, see Inclination (novella). ... Perturbation is a term used in astronomy to describe alterations to an objects orbit caused by gravitational interactions with other bodies. ... In mathematics, the spherical harmonics are the angular portion of an orthogonal set of solutions to Laplaces equation represented in a system of spherical coordinates. ...


Once there, scientists hope to test a theory that the planet is shrinking, contracting in on itself as its core slowly freezes. The probe will look for signs of surface buckling on Mercury's unobserved hemisphere, as well as collect surface composition data on material that may have once spewed out of the planet's interior. The idea that Mercury's surface was somehow shrinking arose when Mariner 10 returned images of great scarps biting deep into the planet's surface. One such scarp, Discovery Rupes, cuts 1.6 km (1 mi) into Mercury's crust. In geology, an escarpment is a transition zone between different physiogeographic provinces that involves an elevation differential, often involving high cliffs. ... Discovery Rupes Discovery Rupes is an escarpment on Mercury approximately 650 kilometers long and 2 kilometers high, located at latitude -56. ...


Spacecraft and subsystems

MESSENGER was designed and built by Johns Hopkins University's Applied Physics Laboratory (JHU/APL). It is a squat box (1.27 m × 1.42 m × 1.85 m) with a semi-cylindrical thermal shade for protection from the Sun and two solar panel wings extending radially. A 3.6 m (12 ft) magnetometer boom also extends from the craft. The total mass of the spacecraft is 1,093 kg (2,410 lb); 607.8 kg (1,340 lb) of this is propellant (hydrazine and nitrogen tetroxide) and helium. The structure is primarily graphite cyanate ester (GrCE) composite and consists of two vertical panels which support two large fuel tanks and two vertical panels which support the oxidizer tank and plumbing panel. The four vertical panels make up the center column and are bolted at their aft ends to an aluminum adapter. A single top deck panel mounts the LVA (large velocity adjust) thruster, small thrusters, helium and auxiliary fuel tanks, star trackers and battery. The Johns Hopkins University, founded in 1876, is a private institution of higher learning located in Baltimore, Maryland, United States. ... The Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory (APL), located in Laurel, Maryland, is a not-for-profit, university-affiliated research center employing 4,000 people. ... A photovoltaic module is composed of individual PV cells. ... A magnetometer is a scientific instrument used to measure the strength and/or direction of the magnetic field in the vicinity of the instrument. ... Hydrazine is the chemical compound with formula N2H4. ... Nitrogen tetroxide (or Dinitrogen tetroxide) (N2O4) is a hypergolic propellant often used in combination with a hydrazine-based rocket fuel. ... In the context of spacecraft, attitude control is control of the angular position and rotation of the spacecraft, either relative to the object that it is orbiting, or relative to the celestial sphere. ...

MESSENGER assembly at Astrotech.
MESSENGER assembly at Astrotech.

Main propulsion is via the 645 N (145 lbf), 317 s bipropellant LVA thruster. Four 22 N (4.9 lbf) monopropellant thrusters provide spacecraft steering during main thruster burns, and ten 4 N (0.9 lbf) monopropellant thrusters are used for attitude control. There is also a reaction wheel attitude control system. Information for attitude control is provided by star tracking cameras, an inertial measurement unit, and six solar sensors. Power is provided by the solar panels, which extend beyond the sunshade and are rotatable to balance panel temperature and power generation, and provides a nominal 450 watts in Mercury orbit. The panels are 70 percent optical solar reflectors and 30 percent GaAs/Ge cells. The power is stored in a common-pressure-vessel, 23-ampere-hour nickel-hydrogen battery, with 11 vessels and two cells per vessel. Download high resolution version (3008x2000, 1922 KB) Wikipedia does not have an article with this exact name. ... Download high resolution version (3008x2000, 1922 KB) Wikipedia does not have an article with this exact name. ... For other uses, see Newton (disambiguation). ... The pound-force is a non-SI unit of force or weight (properly abbreviated lbf or lbf). The pound-force is equal to a mass of one pound multiplied by the standard acceleration due to gravity on Earth (which is defined as exactly 9. ... Specific impulse (usually abbreviated Isp) is a way to describe the efficiency of rocket and jet engines. ... F-1 rocket engine (The kind used by the Saturn V.) A bipropellant rocket engine is a rocket engine that uses two fluid propellants stored in separate tanks that are injected into, and undergo a strong exothermic reaction, in a rockets combustion chamber. ... A monopropellant rocket (or monoprop rocket) is a rocket that uses a single chemical as its power source and propellant. ... A momentum wheel is a type of flywheel used primarily by spacecraft to change their angular momentum without using fuel for rockets or other reaction devices. ... // In the context of spacecraft, attitude control is control of the angular position and rotation of the spacecraft, either relative to the object that it is orbiting, or relative to the celestial sphere. ... For other uses, see Watt (disambiguation). ... For other uses, see Ampere (disambiguation). ... For other uses, see Nickel (disambiguation). ... For other uses, see Battery. ...


Communications are in X-band with downlink through two fixed phased array antenna clusters and uplink and downlink through medium- and low-gain antennas on the forward and aft sides of the spacecraft. Passive thermal control, primarily a fixed opaque ceramic cloth sunshade, is utilized to maintain operating temperatures near the Sun. Radiators are built into the structure and the orbit is optimized to minimize infrared and visible light heating of the spacecraft from the surface of Mercury. Multilayer insulation, low conductivity couplings, and heaters are also used to maintain temperatures within operating limits. The X band, ranging from 8. ... For the ultrasonic and medical imaging application, see phased array ultrasonics. ... A yagi antenna Most simply, an antenna is an electronic component designed to send or receive radio waves. ... The low-gain antenna (LGA) is an antenna with a broad radiowave beam width. ... Not to be confused with radiata. ... For other uses, see Infrared (disambiguation). ... The optical spectrum (light or visible spectrum) is the portion of the electromagnetic spectrum that is visible to the human eye. ...


Five science instruments are mounted externally on the bottom deck of the main body: the Mercury Dual Imaging System (MDIS), Gamma-Ray and Neutron Spectrometer (GRNS), X-ray Spectrometer (XRS), Mercury Laser Altimeter (MLA), and Atmospheric and Surface Composition Spectrometer (MASCS). The Energetic Particle and Plasma Spectrometer (EPPS) is mounted on the side and top deck and the magnetometer (MAG) is at the end of the 3.6 meter boom. Radio Science (RS) experiments will use the existing communications system (see:Radio Science Subsystem).


MESSENGER's onboard computer system is based on the Integrated Electronics Module (IEM), a device that combines core avionics in a single box. The spacecraft carries a pair of identical IEMs for backup purposes; both house a 25 megahertz main processor and 10 MHz fault protection processor. All four are radiation-hardened IBM RAD6000 processors, based on the IBM POWER1 CPU architecture (similar to that of older Macintoshes). The RAD computers, slow by current personal computer standards, are state of the art for the radiation tolerance required on the MESSENGER mission. For data storage, the spacecraft carries two solid-state recorders (one backup) able to store up to one gigabyte each. Its main processor collects, compresses, and stores on the recorder images and other data from MESSENGER's instruments, which can then be sent back to Earth. Avionics is a portmanteau which literally means aviation electronics. ... MegaHertz (MHz) is the name given to one million (106) Hertz, a measure of frequency. ... Microelectronics designed for environments with high levels of ionizing radiation have special design challenges. ... Look up Power in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... For other uses, see Macintosh (disambiguation) and Mac. ... A data storage device is a device for recording (storing) information (data). ... This article refers to both flash and DRAM-based solid state drives. ... This article is about the unit of measurement. ... Source coding redirects here. ...


Results

An image of part of the previously unseen side of the planet
An image of part of the previously unseen side of the planet

MESSENGER has completed its first Mercury flyby successfully, taking pictures with both the wide angle and narrow angle cameras as well as using some of its other sensors. Preliminary image results from this first pass can be viewed at JHUAPL's MESSENGER Science Photos page.


On July 3, 2008, MESSENGER team member Thomas Zurbuchen announced that the probe discovered large amounts of water present in Mercury's exosphere. "Nobody expected that. I don't know a single person that did. We were astonished, just astonished," Zurbuchen stated.[5] July 3 is the 184th day of the year (185th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... 2008 (MMVIII) is the current year, a leap year that started on Tuesday of the Common Era (or Anno Domini), in accordance with the Gregorian calendar. ... [fAgot png|thumb|200px|right|Atmosphere diagram showing the exosphere and other layers. ...


MESSENGER also provided visual evidence of volcanic activity on the surface of Mercury as well as evidence for a liquid core of the planet.[5]


References

Notes

  1. ^ MESSENGER Engine Burn Puts Spacecraft on Track for Venus. SpaceRef.com (2005). Retrieved on 2006-03-02.
  2. ^ Critical Deep-Space Maneuver Targets MESSENGER for Its First Mercury Encounter. NASA (2007-10-17). Retrieved on 2007-10-17.
  3. ^ Countdown to MESSENGER's Closest Approach with Mercury. Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory (January 14, 2008). Retrieved on 2008-01-14.
  4. ^ NASA (2004-03-24). "MESSENGER Launch Rescheduled.". Press release. Retrieved on 2007-07-01.
  5. ^ a b MESSENGER Scientists 'Astonished' to Find Water in Mercury's Thin Atmosphere. Planetary Society (2008-07-03). Retrieved on 2008-07-05.

Year 2006 (MMVI) was a common year starting on Sunday of the Gregorian calendar. ... -1... Year 2007 (MMVII) was a common year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar in the 21st century. ... is the 290th day of the year (291st in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 2007 (MMVII) was a common year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar in the 21st century. ... is the 290th day of the year (291st in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... 2008 (MMVIII) is the current year, a leap year that started on Tuesday of the Common Era (or Anno Domini), in accordance with the Gregorian calendar. ... is the 14th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 2004 (MMIV) was a leap year starting on Thursday of the Gregorian calendar. ... is the 83rd day of the year (84th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... For information on Wikipedia press releases, see Wikipedia:Press releases. ... Year 2007 (MMVII) was a common year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar in the 21st century. ... is the 182nd day of the year (183rd in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... 2008 (MMVIII) is the current year, a leap year that started on Tuesday of the Common Era (or Anno Domini), in accordance with the Gregorian calendar. ... July 3 is the 184th day of the year (185th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... 2008 (MMVIII) is the current year, a leap year that started on Tuesday of the Common Era (or Anno Domini), in accordance with the Gregorian calendar. ... is the 186th day of the year (187th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ...

External links

Wikimedia Commons has media related to:
MESSENGER
This article is about the planet. ... A Mercury-crosser asteroid is an asteroid whose orbit crosses that of Mercury. ... A moon orbiting Mercury was, for a short time, believed to exist. ... Transit of Mercury (time lapse showing entire event) Transit of Mercury 11-8-06 - Photographed by Eric S. Kounce of the West Texas Astronomers (www. ... A transit of Mercury across the Sun as seen from Jupiter takes place when the planet Mercury passes directly between the Sun and Jupiter, obscuring a small part of the Suns disc for an observer on Jupiter. ... A transit of Mercury across the Sun as seen from Mars takes place when the planet Mercury passes directly between the Sun and Mars, obscuring a small part of the Suns disc for an observer on Mars. ... A transit of Mercury across the Sun as seen from Saturn takes place when the planet Mercury passes directly between the Sun and Saturn, obscuring a small part of the Suns disc for an observer on Saturn. ... A transit of Mercury across the Sun as seen from Venus takes place when the planet Mercury passes directly between the Sun and Venus, obscuring a small part of the Suns disc for an observer on Venus. ... Image File history File links Mercury_Mariner10. ... The exploration of Mercury has taken only a minor role in the space interests of the world. ... The Mariner 10 probe. ... BepiColombo is a joint Cornerstone mission of the European Space Agency (ESA) and the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) to the planet Mercury. ... Mercury Mercury has been suggested as one possible target for space colonization of the inner solar system, along with Mars, Venus, the Moon and the asteroid belt. ... Mercurys primordial atmosphere dissipated shortly after the planets formation because of both the low level of gravity on the planet, the high temperature,and the effects of the solar wind. ... This is a list of the albedo features of the planet Mercury as seen by early telescopic observation. ... Of all the terrestrial planets in the Solar System, the geology of Mercury is the least understood. ... This is a list of named craters on Mercury. ... Chao Meng-Fu is a crater (167km in diameter) on Mercury. ... This is a list of geological features on Mercury. ... The Caloris Basin, also called Caloris Planitia, is an impact crater, on Mercury, which is ~1350km in diameter. ... Discovery Rupes Discovery Rupes is an escarpment on Mercury approximately 650 kilometers long and 2 kilometers high, located at latitude -56. ... The Skinakas Basin is the informal name given to a structure on Mercury that appears to be an extremely large impact basin. ... A popular setting for science fiction writers, there are many examples of the planet Mercury in fiction. ... edit The planet Mercury appears frequently as a setting for many of the stories of Leigh Brackett, and Mercury and Mercurians are frequently mentioned in other stories of the Leigh Brackett Solar System. ... The exploration of Mercury has taken only a minor role in the space interests of the world. ... This article is about the planet. ... The Mariner 10 probe. ... BepiColombo is a joint Cornerstone mission of the European Space Agency (ESA) and the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) to the planet Mercury. ... This article is about the planet. ... The exploration of Mercury has taken only a minor role in the space interests of the world. ... The planet Venus has been explored several times. ... This article is about the planet. ... Venera 1 Venera 1 diagram On February 12, 1961, 00:34:36 UTC, the first planetary probe was launched to Venus by the Soviet Union. ... -1... Venera 3MV-1 Zond 1, a member of the Soviet Zond program, was the second Soviet research spacecraft to successfully reach position Venus. ... Venera 2 Venera 2 (Russian: Венера-2) was a probe in the Soviet Venera program for the exploration of Venus. ... Mariner 5 was a spacecraft of the Mariner program that carried a complement of experiments to probe Venus atmosphere with radio waves, scan its brightness in ultraviolet light, and sample the solar particles and magnetic field fluctuations above the planet. ... The Mariner 10 probe. ... The Venera 11 was an USSR unmanned space mission to explore the planet Venus. ... The Venera 12 (Russian: Венера-12) was an USSR unmanned space mission to explore the planet Venus. ... Venera 13 (Russian: Венера-13) was a probe in the Soviet Venera program for the exploration of Venus. ... Venera 14 (Russian: Венера-14) was a probe in the Soviet Venera program for the exploration of Venus. ... The Vega mission was a Venus mission which also took advantage of the appearance of Comet Halley in 1986. ... The Vega mission was a Venus mission which also took advantage of the appearance of Comet Halley in 1986. ... Galileo is prepared for mating with the IUS booster Galileo and Inertial Upper Stage being deployed after being launched by the Space Shuttle Atlantis on the STS-34 mission Galileo was an unmanned spacecraft sent by NASA to study the planet Jupiter and its moons. ... Cassini-Huygens is a joint NASA/ESA/ASI unmanned space mission intended to study Saturn and its moons. ... Venera 9 (Russian: Венера-9) was a USSR unmanned space mission to Venus. ... Venera 10 was a USSR unmanned space mission to Venus. ... The Pioneer mission to Venus consisted of two components, launched separately. ... Venera 15 and Venera 16 were two identical spacecraft sent to Venus by the Soviet Union. ... Venera 15 and Venera 16 were two identical spacecraft sent to Venus by the Soviet Union. ... Magellan spacecraft at Kennedy Space Center The Magellan spacecraft carried out a mission from 1989-1994, orbiting Venus from 1990-1994. ... Venus Express is the first Venus exploration mission of the European Space Agency. ... Venera 3 Venera-3 on-board medal Venera 3 (Russian:Венера-3) was a Venera program space probe that was built and launched by the Soviet Union to explore the surface of Venus. ... Venera 4 Venera 4 landing capsule Venera 4 (Russian:Венера-4) was a probe in the Soviet Venera program for the exploration of Venus. ... Venera 5 Landing of Venera-5 Venera 5 (Russian: Венера-5) was a probe in the Soviet space program Venera for the exploration of Venus. ... Venera 6 Sketch of Venera 6 Venera 6 (Russian:Венера-6) was a Soviet spacecraft, launched from a Tyazheliy Sputnik (69-002C) on January 10 1969 towards Venus to obtain atmospheric data. ... The Pioneer mission to Venus consisted of two components, launched separately. ... A lander is a type of spacecraft which descends to come to rest on the surface of an astronomical body. ... The Venera 7 (Russian: Венера-7) was launched as part of the Venera program by the Soviet Union. ... Venera 8 Venera 8 landing capsule Venera 8 (Russian: Венера-8) was a probe in the Soviet Venera program for the exploration of Venus. ... Venera 9 (Russian: Венера-9) was a USSR unmanned space mission to Venus. ... Venera 10 was a USSR unmanned space mission to Venus. ... The Venera 11 was an USSR unmanned space mission to explore the planet Venus. ... The Venera 12 (Russian: Венера-12) was an USSR unmanned space mission to explore the planet Venus. ... Venera 13 (Russian: Венера-13) was a probe in the Soviet Venera program for the exploration of Venus. ... Venera 14 (Russian: Венера-14) was a probe in the Soviet Venera program for the exploration of Venus. ... The Vega mission was a Venus mission which also took advantage of the appearance of Comet Halley in 1986. ... The Vega mission was a Venus mission which also took advantage of the appearance of Comet Halley in 1986. ... The Vega mission was a Venus mission which also took advantage of the appearance of Comet Halley in 1986. ... The Vega mission was a Venus mission which also took advantage of the appearance of Comet Halley in 1986. ... PLANET-C, also known as Venus Climate Orbiter (VCO), is a planned Japanese unmanned spacecraft to explore Venus. ... BepiColombo is a joint Cornerstone mission of the European Space Agency (ESA) and the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) to the planet Mercury. ... The Venus Entry Probe (VEP) probe is a proposed European Space Agency space probe to Venus. ... The Venera-D (Russian: Венера-Д;) probe is a proposed Russian space probe to Venus to be launch around 2013, whose prime purpose is to make remote-sensing observations around the planet Venus in a manner similar to that of the U.S. Magellan spacecraft in the 1990s, but with the... Venus The colonization of Venus has been a subject of much speculation and many works of science fiction since before the dawn of spaceflight, and is still much discussed. ... List of artificial objects on Venus. ... NASAs Discovery Program is a series of lower-cost, highly focused scientific space missions. ... The Kepler Mission is a space observatory being developed by NASA that will search for extrasolar planets and will only be the second space-based telescope particularly constructed for that task, the first one being COROT. For this purpose, it will observe the brightness of about 100,000 stars over... Overview The Moon Mineralogy Mapper (M3) is one of two instruments that NASA is contributing to Indias first mission to the Moon, scheduled to launch in 2007. ... The Dawn Mission, launched on September 27, 2007, is NASAs mission to send a robotic space probe to the two most massive members of the asteroid belt: the asteroid Vesta and the dwarf planet Ceres. ... Artists conception of the NEAR Shoemaker spacecraft Near Earth Asteroid Eros as seen from the NEAR spacecraft. ... The Mars Pathfinder was launched on December 4, 1996 by NASA aboard a Delta II just a month after the Mars Global Surveyor was launched. ... NASAs Lunar Prospector The Lunar Prospector mission was the third selected by NASA for full development and construction as part of the Discovery Program. ... Illustration of the Deep Impact space probe after impactor separation (artists conception) Deep Impact is a NASA space probe designed to study the composition of the interior of the comet Tempel 1. ... An artists rendering of Stardust (NASA image) The Stardust capsule with cometary and interstellar samples landed at the U.S. Air Force Utah Test and Training Range at 10:10 UTC (15 January 2006) in the Bonneville Salt Flats. ... In its collecting configuration, the Genesis spacecraft exposed collecting wafers to the solar wind. ... The Comet Nucleus Tour (CONTOUR) was a Discovery-class space mission. ...

  Results from FactBites:
 
John F. Kennedy Space Center - Expendable Launch Vehicles (532 words)
MESSENGER is commissioned to investigate the answers to these and other important questions.
MESSENGER is scheduled to stay in orbit at Mercury for one Earth year, finishing its data collection in March 2012.
The MESSENGER spacecraft is now firmly attached to the third stage of its Delta II launch vehicle in anticipation of the launch window that opens at 2:16 a.m.
MESSENGER - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (1401 words)
Specifically, the scientific objectives of the mission are to characterize the chemical composition of Mercury's surface, the geologic history, the nature of the magnetic field, the size and state of the core, the volatile inventory at the poles, and the nature of Mercury's exosphere and magnetosphere over a nominal orbital mission of one Earth year.
MESSENGER performed a successful Earth swingby a year after launch, on 2 August 2005, with the closest approach at 19:13 UTC at an altitude of 2,347 km (1,458 statute miles) over central Mongolia.
The MESSENGER spacecraft, designed and built by The Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory (JHU/APL), is a squat box (1.27 m × 1.42 m × 1.85 m) with a semi-cylindrical thermal shade for protection from the Sun and two solar panel wings extending radially.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

COMMENTARY     


Share your thoughts, questions and commentary here
Your name
Your comments

Want to know more?
Search encyclopedia, statistics and forums:

 


Press Releases |  Feeds | Contact
The Wikipedia article included on this page is licensed under the GFDL.
Images may be subject to relevant owners' copyright.
All other elements are (c) copyright NationMaster.com 2003-5. All Rights Reserved.
Usage implies agreement with terms, 1022, m