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T-minus 2 Weeks to NASA Probe’s Crash into Mercury

posted: 04/16/15
by: Discovery.com Staff
MESSENGER Probe
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Artist's impression of NASA's MESSENGER probe in orbit around Mercury. Now out of fuel, mission managers expect the spacecraft to crash into the planet's surface in 2 weeks.
NASA

From Discovery News

NASA's MESSENGER spacecraft is in the final days of an unprecedented and unexpectedly long-lived, close-up study of the innermost planet of the solar system, with a crashing finale expected in two weeks.

Out of fuel, the robotic Mercury Surface, Space Environment, Geochemistry and Ranging, or MESSENGER, probe on April 30 will succumb to the gravitational pull of this strange world that has been its home since March 2011. The purpose of the mission, originally designed to last one year, is to collect detailed geochemical and other data that will help scientists piece together of how Mercury formed and evolved. Mercury is one of four versions of rocky planets in the solar system, along with cloud-shrouded Venus, life-friendly Earth and dry, cold Mars.

Click here for the full story from Discovery News

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