Saturday, March 19, 2011

Humankind Orbits Mercury For The First Time

Our robot MESSENGER space craft entered the orbit of the innermost planet Mercury last evening...

After a seven year voyage, using gravity assists gained during one flyby of Earth, two flybys of Venus, and three flybys of Mercury, the MErcury Surface, Space ENvironment, GEochemistry and Ranging (MESSENGER) science platform will soon begin a year long mission of data collection and transmission.  It is our first spacecraft ever placed into orbit around Mercury.  Nicely done, NASA.

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