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Messenger arrives at Mercury

Posted: Sat Mar 19, 2011 10:56 am
by bipedalhumanoid
Image
Nasa's Messenger spacecraft has successfully entered into orbit around the planet Mercury - the first probe to do so.

The robotic explorer initiated a 14-minute burn on its main thruster at 0045 GMT on Friday.

This slowed the spacecraft sufficiently to be captured by the innermost planet's gravity.

Being so close to the Sun, Mercury is a hostile place to do science. Surface temperatures would melt lead.

In this blistering environment, the probe has to carry a shield to protect it from the full glare of our star.

And even its instruments looking down at the planet have to be guarded against the intense heat coming back up off the surface.

"It was right on the money," Messenger's chief engineer, Eric Finnegan, said. "This is as close as you can possibly get to being perfect.
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-12761025

Re: Messenger arrives at Mercury

Posted: Sat Mar 19, 2011 11:47 am
by DaithiDublin
Those pictures are stunning. I'm looking forward seeing what else this mission throws up. What on Earth is the probe made of?! (or should that be 'What from Earth...) :)

Re: Messenger arrives at Mercury

Posted: Sat Mar 19, 2011 12:11 pm
by aZerogodist
Thanks for the link, went from that to Nasa to ISS, where you can download a ISS calendar
http://www.nasa.gov/pdf/509169main_2011 ... ar-med.pdf
Can't wait to print it off.

Re: Messenger arrives at Mercury

Posted: Thu Apr 14, 2011 5:50 pm
by Mr Kequc
Science wins again!