Sunday, January 13, 2008
Messenger reaches Mercury
The Messenger spacecraft is now 17 hours away from closest approach to Mercury, the first spacecraft to visit the tiny, dense, and baked interior planet in 30 years. Only about half of Mercury is currently mapped. It only passes by this time; it will flyby twice again, then finally enter orbit in 2011. See an orbital movie here. You might also remember this Earth flyby movie, mentioned almost two years ago here.