Unlocking the Mysteries
of Planet Mercury

Top 10 Science Results and Technology Innovations

After more than 10 years in operation, the MErcury Surface, Space ENvironment, GEochemistry, and Ranging (MESSENGER) spacecraft impacted the surface of Mercury on April 30, 2015, at a speed of more than 3.91 kilometers per second (8,750 miles per hour), marking the end of operations for the hugely successful Mercury orbiter. At the MESSENGER Nears End of Operations media and public event, scientists and engineers discussed the mission’s accomplishments, providing the top 10 scientific discoveries, as well as the technological innovations that grew out of the mission.


A NASA Discovery mission that conducted the first orbital study of our solar system's innermost planet

The Mission to Mercury

To address key science questions about Mercury's formation and evolution, MESSENGER journeyed through the inner solar system and became the first spacecraft ever to orbit Mercury.
Why Mercury | Mission Timeline | Mission Design

Spacecraft and Instruments

Learn about the details of the spacecraft and find details about MESSENGER's science payload, which included seven scientific instruments and a radio science experiment.

View all Spacecraft and Instruments


The MESSENGER Team is composed of many different individuals with a wide variety of roles and responsibilities. Scientists and engineers from across the country are involved in all aspects of the mission.

Learn more about the MESSENGER team


Explore maps, videos, images, and more that reveal Mercury's secrets and the discoveries of the MESSENGER mission

Images from MESSENGER

View images and other data acquired by MESSENGER and learn about the science they taught us about Mercury.

Highlights Collection | Global Mosaics |
Featured Image Database


Watch videos, browse photos, and listen to podcasts!

Videos | Graphics | Podcasts | Poetry and Music

Interactive Maps

Explore Mercury your way, using interactive tools to visualize the MESSENGER datasets.

Mercury on Google Earth |
Quick Map Orbital Data


How did we get to Mercury? What were the challenges and triumphs? What did we discover? Learn more with these engaging materials for inside and outside of the classroom.

Games and Interactives

Roll up your sleeves and find out why it was such a challenge to study the planet closest to the Sun. Then interact with real data and images from this historic mission.

Investigate the Data | Games and Simulations | MESSENGER Models

Education Modules

Foster the problem-solving and critical-thinking skills required for space exploration with these hands-on, minds-on learning modules.

Our Solar Neighborhood |
Science and Engineering in Action


News Archives

Read fourteen years of MESSENGER news releases covering all mission phases—development, integration and testing, launch, the 6.6-year journey through the inner solar system, and ultimately exploration of Mercury from orbit.

Articles | Informational Materials | Questions and Answers | Flyby Information | Highlights of Mercury Science


View MESSENGER press conference presentations and learn about presentations made by MESSENGER team members at other venues.

Press Conferences | Workshops and Meetings


See a bibliography of publications by project team members about the MESSENGER mission and related Mercury science, dating back to when NASA first selected the MESSENGER mission in 1999.

View All Publications