Video: NASA Mercury mission may hold clues to Earth's origins and evolution

March 27, 2015, Columbia University

Sean Solomon, director of Columbia University's Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory, has been leading NASA's MESSENGER mission to Mercury for the last four years. MESSENGER is the first spacecraft to orbit Mercury.

Now as it is expected to come crashing down on the second closest planet to the sun, the mission is coming to a close. But Solomon believes MESSENGER has given us significant data from mapping Mercury's surface and delving into the planet's origins, atmosphere, and interior. It may even have given us clues into how Earth formed and evolved.

Explore further: MESSENGER team celebrates orbital anniversary, reports on new findings

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not rated yet Mar 27, 2015
That is a bit confusing. If it is in orbit around Mercury, why would it crash on the second closest planet to the sun?

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