NASA rescheduled MESSENGER start to Mercury to August 3

August 2, 2004
NASA rescheduled MESSENGER start to Mercury to August 3

Today's launch of the MESSENGER spacecraft has been canceled due to weather constraints. The launch team will try again tomorrow, August 3, at 2:15:56 a.m. MESSENGER is a scientific investigation of the planet Mercury. Understanding Mercury, and the forces that have shaped it, is fundamental to understanding the terrestrial planets and their evolution. Just what is a terrestrial planet? It is a group of planets that are like Earth.


The MESSENGER spacecraft will orbit Mercury following three flybys of that planet. The orbital phase will use the flyby information as an initial guide to perform a focused scientific investigation of this mysterious world.

MESSENGER will enter Mercury orbit in March 2011 and carry out comprehensive measurements for one Earth year. The data-collection phase of the mission will conclude in March 2012.

Mission Overview
MESSENGER is a scientific investigation of the planet Mercury. Understanding Mercury, and the forces that have shaped it, is fundamental to understanding the terrestrial planets and their evolution.

MESSENGER is a MErcury Surface, Space ENvironment, GEochemistry, and Ranging mission to orbit Mercury following three flybys of that planet. The orbital phase will use the flyby data as an initial guide to perform a focused scientific investigation of this enigmatic world.

MESSENGER will investigate key scientific questions regarding Mercury’s characteristics and environment during these two complementary mission phases. Data are provided by an optimized set of miniaturized space instruments and the spacecraft telecommunications system.

MESSENGER will enter Mercury orbit in March 2011 and carry out comprehensive measurements for one Earth year. Orbital data collection concludes in March 2012.

Explore further: Neutron star smashup seen for first time, 'transforms' understanding of Universe

Related Stories

Image: Geology of the Victoria Quadrangle on Mercury

October 9, 2017

Mercury, the innermost planet of our solar system is a grey, barren world to our human eyes. In stark contrast, this map shows a portion of the surface in a patchwork of colour, each shade corresponding to a different type ...

Something in the water—life after mercury poisoning

September 26, 2017

From 1932 to 1968, hundreds of tonnes of mercury seeped into the clear waters of Minamata Bay, Japan, causing health and environmental problems still felt today. As the first global treaty on mercury finally comes into force, ...

Recommended for you

Tiny protein coiled coils that self-assemble into cages

October 17, 2017

(Phys.org)—A large team of researchers with members from Slovenia, the U.K, Serbia, France and Spain has developed a technique that causes proteins to self-assemble into geometric shapes on demand. In their paper published ...

Webcam on Mars Express surveys high-altitude clouds

October 17, 2017

An unprecedented catalogue of more than 21 000 images taken by a webcam on ESA's Mars Express is proving its worth as a science instrument, providing a global survey of unusual high-altitude cloud features on the Red Planet.

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.