Rest In Pieces: MESSENGER Ends Orbital Operations, Impacts Mercury's Surface

The MESSENGER spacecraft, depicted in this artist’s rendering, began studying Mercury in 2011. Today, its mission ended with its impact on the far side of the planet. Image Credit: NASA

Here’s MESSENGER by the numbers: Years since launching: 10+; Years in Mercury’s orbit: Four; Number of orbits: 4,105; Size of its impact crater: Estimated […]

MESSENGER Mission Nears Its End, Set for Mercury Impact April 30

A global map of Mercury, composed of thousands of individual images from MESSENGER. Image Credit: NASA/Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory/Carnegie Institution of Washington

One of the most oft-repeated quotes in the English lexicon is: “There’s no place like home.” One spacecraft’s long journey, begun in 2004, will end as it impacts upon the […]

Messenger Spacecraft Finds Evidence of Ice on Planet Closest to Sun

Shown in red are areas of Mercury’s north polar region that are constantly in shadow in every image that the MESSENGER spacecraft has acquired to date. These areas are rich in water ice, despite the planet’s close proximity to the sun. Image Credit: NASA/Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory/Carnegie Institution of Washington/National Astronomy and […]