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News About Mercury
May 27, 2015
UK-built technology brings Europe's Mercury mission closer to launch
London, UK (SPX) May 20, 2015
A UK-built instrument, designed to unlock the secrets of Mercury's surface, has been shipped from the University of Leicester's Space Research Centre to the European Space Agency where it will be integrated with the BepiColombo spacecraft. The Mercury Imaging X-ray Spectrometer (MIXS) is one of the main instruments on the upcoming BepiColombo Mercury mission, due for launch in 2017. Funded by the UK Space Agency, the instrument will use novel X-ray optics to determine small-scale features on Mercu ... read more

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NASA completes MESSENGER mission with surface impact
Mission controllers at the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory (APL) in Laurel, Md., confirmed today that NASA's MErcury Surface, Space ENvironment, GEochemistry, and Ranging (MESSEN ... more
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Fire and Ice: A MESSENGER Recap
The planet closest to the Sun is, ironically, one of the coldest. That's just one of many mind-bending discoveries about Mercury that NASA's MESSENGER spacecraft beamed back to Earth over the past 7 ... more
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KinetX Aerospace Navigates MESSENGER through Final Mission Phase
KinetX Aerospace, the first commercial company to navigate any spacecraft to distant planetary bodies, announced that it has successfully guided the MESSENGER spacecraft through its final and perhap ... more
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MESSENGER executes last orbit-correction maneuver ahead of impact
MESSENGER mission controllers at the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory (APL) in Laurel, Md., conducted the last of six planned maneuvers on April 24 to raise the spacecraft's minim ... more
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NASA Spacecraft Achieves Unprecedented Success Studying Mercury
After extraordinary science findings and technological innovations, a NASA spacecraft launched in 2004 to study Mercury will impact the planet's surface, most likely on April 30, after it runs out o ... more
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NASA spacecraft set for death plunge into Mercury
A NASA probe that has circled Mercury for the past four years will make a dramatic death plunge into the planet's surface in late April when it runs out of fuel. ... more
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Altimeter Assists in MESSENGER's Low-Altitude Navigation
As NASA's MESSENGER mission draws to a close, an on-board science instrument that mapped the surface of Mercury is helping the navigation team with the spacecraft's low-altitude passes. MESSEN ... more
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Correction Maneuver Puts MESSENGER Right on Course
The MESSENGER team is pulling out all the stops to give the spacecraft life far beyond its original design. On April 8, mission operators at the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory ( ... more
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Comms system critical to delaying MESSENGER's Mercury impact
MESSENGER's orbit-correction maneuver on April 6 was a nail biter. It was the 15th such maneuver since the spacecraft entered orbit about Mercury in 2011, and the third in a series of increasingly r ... more
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Planned Maneuver Further Extends MESSENGER Orbital Operations
MESSENGER mission controllers at the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory (APL) in Laurel, Md., conducted a maneuver yesterday to raise the spacecraft's minimum altitude sufficiently ... more
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New explanation for Mercury's dark surface
Peering into space, the surface of Mercury appears dark and unreflective, an observation that has long puzzled planetary scientists due to the planet's very low surface abundance of iron (less than ... more
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Comet dust: Planet Mercury's 'invisible paint'
A team of scientists has a new explanation for the planet Mercury's dark, barely reflective surface. In a paper published in Nature Geoscience, the researchers suggest that a steady dusting of carbo ... more
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MESSENGER Completes 4,000th Orbit of Mercury
On March 25, the MESSENGER spacecraft completed its 4,000th orbit of Mercury, and the lowest point in its orbit continues to move closer to the planet than ever before. The orbital phase of the MESS ... more
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Hover Campaign Promises Bird's-Eye View of Mercury's Surface
MESSENGER will not go gentle into that good night. The mission will end sometime this spring, when the spacecraft runs out of propellant and the force of solar gravity causes it to impact the surfac ... more
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New Mercury surface composition maps illuminate the planet's history
Two new papers from members of the MESSENGER Science Team provide global-scale maps of Mercury's surface chemistry that reveal previously unrecognized geochemical terranes - large regions that have ... more
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Latest MESSENGER data includes new targeted mosaics of Mercury
NASA's Planetary Data System (PDS) has released data collected from the MErcury Surface, Space ENvironment, GEochemistry, and Ranging (MESSENGER) mission during its 37th through 42nd months in orbit ... more
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    Maneuver Delays Messenger's Impact, Extends Orbital Operations
    MESSENGER mission controllers at the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory (APL) in Laurel, Md., successfully conducted a maneuver today designed to raise the spacecraft's minimum alti ... more
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    Last Chance: Mercury Crater-Naming Contest Ends January 15
    The MESSENGER Education and Public Outreach (EPO) Team is reminding interested parties that the competition to name five impact craters on Mercury closes on January 15, 2015. The contest, open to ev ... more
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    Innovative use of Pressurant Extends Messenger's Mission
    The MESSENGER spacecraft will soon run literally on fumes. After more than 10 years traveling in space, nearly four of those orbiting Mercury, the spacecraft has expended most of its propellant and ... more
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    NASA is letting people name the craters of Mercury
    The team behind NASA's Mercury orbiter, MESSENGER, has begun a competition to name the craters of Mercury. ... more
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    MESSENGER Data Suggest Recurring Meteor Shower on Mercury
    The closest planet to the sun appears to get hit by a periodic meteor shower, possibly associated with a comet that produces multiple events annually on Earth. The clues pointing to Mercury's ... more
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    Third of Four Planned Maneuvers Extends Messenger Orbital Operations
    Messenger mission controllers at the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory in Laurel, Md., conducted the third of four maneuvers to raise the spacecraft's minimum altitude sufficiently ... more
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    Messenger Images Ice Near Mercury's North Pole
    NASA's MErcury Surface, Space ENvironment, GEochemistry, and Ranging (MESSENGER) spacecraft has provided the first optical images of ice and other frozen volatile materials within permanently shadow ... more
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    Planets with Oddball Orbits Like Mercury Could Host Life
    Mercury has an oddball orbit - it takes longer for it to rotate on its axis and complete a day than it takes to orbit the sun and complete a year. Now, researchers suggest photosynthesis could take ... more
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