Messenger arrives at Mercury

Discussions and related news items
Post Reply
Posts: 2675
Joined: Fri Feb 09, 2007 1:55 pm

Messenger arrives at Mercury

Post by bipedalhumanoid » Sat Mar 19, 2011 10:56 am

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.
"The fact of your own existence is the most astonishing fact you will ever have to face. Don’t you ever get used to it." - Richard Dawkins... being shrill and offensive again I suppose.
Posts: 188
Joined: Mon Mar 14, 2011 6:15 pm
Location: Bray, Co. Wicklow

Re: Messenger arrives at Mercury

Post by DaithiDublin » Sat Mar 19, 2011 11:47 am

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...) :)
As yet I have not found a single case of a terrestrial animal which fertilises itself.

- Charles Darwin, The Origin of Species
(he obviously never went to Bray)
Atheist Ireland Member
Atheist Ireland Member
Posts: 1280
Joined: Tue Apr 29, 2008 6:04 pm
Location: Co. CORK

Re: Messenger arrives at Mercury

Post by aZerogodist » Sat Mar 19, 2011 12:11 pm

Thanks for the link, went from that to Nasa to ISS, where you can download a ISS calendar ... ar-med.pdf
Can't wait to print it off.
Mr Kequc
Posts: 40
Joined: Wed Mar 02, 2011 1:03 am
Location: Dublin

Re: Messenger arrives at Mercury

Post by Mr Kequc » Thu Apr 14, 2011 5:50 pm

Science wins again!
Post Reply