Home > Astronomy, Mercury, MESSENGER (MErcury Surface, Solar System, Spaceflight, Unmanned Spaceflight > MESSENGER Marks 8th Anniversary Of Launch

MESSENGER Marks 8th Anniversary Of Launch


The MESSENGER spacecraft launched eight years ago today — on August 3, 2004 — embarking on a six-and-a-half year journey to become the first spacecraft to orbit Mercury. The spacecraft’s 4.9-billion mile (7.9-billion kilometer) cruise to history included 15 trips around the Sun, a flyby of Earth, two flybys of Venus, and three flybys of Mercury.

MESSENGER made history on January 14, 2008, when it flew over a portion of Mercury that had never before been seen at close range. In this first of three flybys of the planet, the probe’s cameras took 1,213 images and other sophisticated instruments made the first spacecraft measurements of the planet and its environment since Mariner 10’s third and final flyby on March 16, 1975.

The mission’s penultimate accomplishment — entering orbit about Mercury — was celebrated on March 17, 2011, by a crowd of hundreds gathered at the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory in Laurel, Maryland. The event was covered live, and the webcast is still available online at http://messenger.jhuapl.edu/mer_orbit.html.

Full Story: http://messenger.jhuapl.edu/news_room/details.php?id=225

  1. No comments yet.
  1. No trackbacks yet.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: