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 Gets Small Reprieve Prior to End of Mission in 2015

Artist’s impression of MESSENGER in orbit around Mercury. Following a highly successful decade-long mission, the spacecraft will eventually face its demise while crashing on Mercury’s surface, sometime next spring. Image Credit: NASA/Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory/Carnegie Institution of Washington

The coming of the New Year is a time for celebration and reflection on […]

MESSENGER Completes 3,000 Orbits Around Mercury, Enters Final Year of Operations

An enchanced-color image of Mercury taken by MESSENGER, following its first flyby of the planet in January 2008. The spacecraft has recently entered its last year of operations, conducting more than 3,000 orbits around the planet, while transmitting more than 200,000 images back to Earth. Image Credit: NASA/Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory/Carnegie Institution […]