Messenger

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Mission Over: Space Probe Slams Into Mercury

Messenger's 11-year journey is done

(Newser) - Mercury has a new crater, courtesy of NASA. As expected , the space probe Messenger crashed into the planet this afternoon after running out of fuel, reports AP . The crash at a speed of nearly 9,000mph left a hole about 52 feet wide and brought to an end an epic... More »

NASA Probe Will Smash Into Mercury Today

Messenger will soon become a crater

(Newser) - The first spacecraft ever to orbit Mercury is about to become the first spacecraft to smash into the planet. NASA says the Messenger probe will conclude its hugely successful mission when it crashes at 8,750mph into the side of the planet facing the sun today at 3:26pm EDT.... More »

Mercury Has Been Shrinking

Slow cooling has created stunning features

(Newser) - The solar system's smallest planet is getting even smaller, but there's not much danger of Mercury disappearing completely: The planet has shrunk as many as 8.6 miles in diameter over the last 4 billion years, according to new research , making its current diameter roughly 3,032 miles.... More »

Photos of Earth, Taken 900M Miles Away

We're just a dot in NASA pics

(Newser) - Stunning new pictures taken from near Saturn and Mercury make our planet look pretty insignificant. We're just a tiny dot next to Saturn in an image taken by the NASA spacecraft Cassini, Space.com reports. That makes it a little tough to see that some 20,000 humans were... More »

Probe Unlocks Mercury's Secrets

Messenger data surprising scientists

(Newser) - Mercury is anything but the boring "burnt-out cinder" scientists once believed it was, say researchers analyzing data from NASA's Messenger orbiter. The spacecraft has now spent 88 days—one Mercurian year—circling the planet, and has sent back about 20,000 new pictures that strongly suggest that ice... More »

NASA Snaps First Shots of Mercury From Orbit

Future photos to reveal planet's unseen regions

(Newser) - A NASA spacecraft has captured the first photo of Mercury taken from orbit. The first of yesterday’s 363 images, shown at left, show the planet’s south pole. The gray surface is covered with craters, including a 53-mile-wide one known as Debussy. Other photos from the $464 million Messenger... More »

Spacecraft Orbiting Mercury for First Time

NASA's Messenger probe slips into orbit after 4.9B-mile journey

(Newser) - After a 4.9 billion-mile journey that required six years and some very tricky moves, NASA has put a spacecraft into orbit around Mercury for the first time ever. Researchers are eagerly awaiting their first extensive look at the solar system's smallest planet, AP reports. The Messenger probe will begin... More »

Mercury 'Spider Crater' Spotted

Probe reveals never-before-seen side of Mercury

(Newser) - NASA's first probe to Mercury in more than 30 years has made some spectacular finds, including a mysterious new crater dubbed "the spider," Space.com reports. The network of cracks radiating from the impact crater photographed by the probe is like nothing else ever seen in the solar... More »

Probe Zips Over Mercury Today

Messenger will take 1,200 pictures from 124 miles up

(Newser) - NASA's Messenger spacecraft this afternoon will whiz past Mercury at 141,000 mph and snap an estimated 1,200 detailed photos of the planet's surface from a mere 124 miles up. It will be the first of three passes before the craft starts orbiting the planet closest to the sun... More »

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