Ground Receipt Time

Spacecraft Time

Event

Eastern Daylight Time (EDT)*

Universal Coordinated Time (UTC)
{DOY-hh:mm}

Time Relative to Closest Approach

{hh:mm}

Thursday
02-Oct

5:55 PM

276-21:47

82:53

Start execution of stored command load.

11:35 PM

277-03:30

77:10

First of eight Optical Navigation images taken on approach to Mercury.

Friday
03-Oct

3:15 AM

277-07:10

73:30

Pre-Encounter Magnetometer calibration.
Spacecraft roll about Y-axis.
Combined observation with Mercury Atmospheric and Surface Composition Spectrometer (MASCS).

12:05 PM

277-16:00

64:40

Second of eight Optical Navigation images taken on approach to Mercury.

4:40 PM

277-20:45

59:55

Start continuous Deep-Space Network (DSN) coverage of encounter.

5:35 PM

277-21:30

59:10

Gamma-Ray Spectrometer (GRS) cryogenic cooler is enabled prior to encounter.

8:08 PM

278-00:02

56:38

X-Ray Spectrometer (XRS) electronic cooler is enabled prior to encounter.

Saturday
04-Oct

12:05 AM

278-04:00

52:40

Third of eight Optical Navigation images taken on approach to Mercury.

8:05 AM

278-12:00

44:40

Fourth of eight Optical Navigation images taken on approach to Mercury.

4:05 PM

278-20:00

36:40

Fifth of eight Optical Navigation images taken on approach to Mercury.

7:08 PM

278 23:03

33:37

Complete GRS cool-down and configure for science gathering mode.

Sunday
05-Oct

12:05 AM

279-04:00

28:40

Sixth of eight Optical Navigation images taken on approach to Mercury.

8:05 AM

279-12:00

20:40

Seventh of eight Optical Navigation images taken on approach to Mercury.

2:05 PM

279-18:00

14:40

Last of eight Optical Navigation images taken on approach to Mercury.

6:08 PM

279-22:03

10:37

Turn to start encounter imaging sequence.
Beacon-only tracking of satellite begins.

6:50 PM

279-22:45

09:55

Begin scans of Mercury solar tail with MASCS.

10:45 PM

280-02:40

06:00

Configure Fast Imaging Plasma Spectrometer (FIPS) to burst- data collection mode.

10:45 PM

280-02:40

06:00

Configure Magnetometer to high sensitivity mode.

10:50 PM

280-02:40

05:59

Configure GRS for medium sensitivity mode.

10:50 PM

280-02:40

05:59

Configure Neutron Spectrometer (NS) for medium sensitivity mode.

11:05 PM

280-03:00

05:40

Configure Energetic Particle Spectrometer (EPS) to high sensitivity mode.

Monday
06-Oct

12:15 AM

280-04:10

04:30

Start approach scattered light sequence using wide angle camera (WAC).

1:46 AM

280-05:40

03:00

Configure XRS to high sensitivity mode.

3:16 AM

280-07:11

01:29

Collect approach full-color image using WAC.

3:46 AM

280-07:40

00:60

Configure GRS for high sensitivity mode.

3:46 AM

280-07:40

00:60

Configure NS for high sensitivity mode.

3:38 AM

280-07:42

00:58

Start approach mosaic image sequence using narrow-angle camera (NAC).

3:51 AM

280-07:45

00:55

Configure Mercury Laser Altimeter (MLA) for science-gathering mode.

4:31 AM

280-08:25

00:14

MESSENGER passes into shadow of Mercury
(eclipse entry).

4:31 AM

280-08:26

00:14

Complete scans of Mercury solar tail with MASCS.

4:31 AM

280-08:26

00:14

Start night exospheric observation sequence with MASCS.

4:32 AM

280-08:27

00:13

Start spacecraft slew sequence to point instrument deck at planet.

4:42 AM

280-08:36

00:04

Start Mercury surface laser ranging using MLA.

4:45 AM

280-08:40

00:00

Mercury closest approach (CA) point
(200 km above surface)

4:47 AM

280-08:42

00:01

MESSENGER passes out of shadow of Mercury
(eclipse exit).

4:51 AM

280-08:45

00:05

Start dayside surface scan with MASCS.

4:54 AM

280-08:48

00:08

Start focused color departure mosaic image sequence using WAC.
Perform combined observations with MLA and MASCS.

4:56 AM

280-08-50

00:10

Complete Mercury surface laser ranging using MLA.

5:01 AM

280-08:55

00:15

Start dayside low-exospheric observation sequence with MASCS.

5:01 AM

280-08:56

00:16

Start high-resolution image strip sequence across Mercury surface using NAC.
Conduct combined observations with MASCS.

5:03 AM

280-08:57

00:17

Start dayside high-exospheric observation sequence with MASCS.

5:07 AM

280-09:01

00:21

Start high-resolution image mosaic sequence covering northern hemisphere using NAC.

5:28 AM

280-09:23

00:42

Start full-color high resolution image mosaic sequence covering entire visible surface.

5:42 AM

280-09:37

00:56

Begin instrument co-registration sequence #1 using WAC.

5:44 AM

280-09:38

00:58

Begin instrument co-registration sequence #2 using WAC.

5:45 AM

280-09:40

00:59

Begin instrument pointing alignment sequence using WAC.

5:46 AM

280-09:40

01:00

Configure NS for medium sensitivity mode.

5:46 AM

280-09:40

01:00

Configure GRS for low sensitivity mode.

5:51 AM

280-09:46

01:06

Start first high-resolution image mosaic sequence covering entire visible surface using NAC.

6:04 AM

280-09:59

01:18

Start second high-resolution image mosaic sequence covering entire visible surface using NAC.

6:15 AM

280-10:09

01:29

Take first departure full-color image of Mercury using both WAC and NAC.

6:18 AM

280-10:12

01:32

Start first departure scattered-light sequence using WAC.

6:46 AM

280-10:40

02:00

Take second departure full-color image of Mercury using both WAC and NAC.

7:46 AM

280-11:40

03:00

Configure XRS to normal sensitivity mode.

7:46 AM

280-11:40

03:00

Take third departure full-color image of Mercury using both WAC and NAC.

9:14 AM

280-13:09

04:28

Take fourth departure full-color image of Mercury using both WAC and NAC.

9:18 AM

280-13:12

04:32

Start second departure scattered-light sequence using WAC.

9:44 AM

280-13:38

04:48

Start departure movie sequence using NAC.

10:45 AM

280-14:40

05:59

Configure FIPS instrument to Normal data collection mode.

10:46 AM

280-14:41

06:00

Configure EPS to low sensitivity mode.

10:46 AM

280-14:41

06:00

Configure Magnetometer to low sensitivity mode.

10:46 AM

280-14:41

06:00

Configure NS to low sensitivity mode.

2:16 PM

280-18:10

09:30

Take fifth departure full-color image of Mercury using both WAC and NAC.

4:46 PM

280-20:40

12:00

Configure GRS to non-science mode.
Start cooler set point test sequence.

Tuesday
07-Oct

12:44 AM

281-04:38

19:58

Complete departure movie sequence using NAC.

12:46 AM

281-04:40

20:00

Take sixth departure full-color image of Mercury using both WAC and NAC.

12:56 AM

281-04:50

20:10

Turn back to Earth following encounter.
Regain telemetry from spacecraft.

1:49 AM

281-05:43

21:03

Start on-board stored-data playback from spacecraft.

2:27 AM

281-06:30

21:41

Complete playback of high-priority images.

4:27 AM

281-08:22

23:41

Complete playback of all high-priority non-imaging science data through 21 hours after CA.

7:46 AM

281-11:40

27:00

Disable XRS gas proportional counter sensor (GPCS).

8:32 AM

281-12:27

27:46

Complete playback of all medium-priority non-imaging science data through 2 hours and 20 minutes after CA.

9:12 PM

282-01:06

40:26

Configure GRS for post-encounter sensor annealing.

Wednesday
08-Oct

7:00 AM

282-11:05

50:19

End continuous DSN coverage for encounter.
Complete playback of all high-priority non-imaging data through 46 hours 35 minutes after CA and all image data through 47 minutes after CA.

5:00 PM

283-01:05

64:20

Start additional DSN 70m coverage for data playback.

Thursday
09-Oct

12:00 AM

283-04:00

67:20

End execution of stored command load.

2:45 AM

283-06:50

70:05

End DSN 70m coverage for data playback
Complete playback of all high-priority non-imaging data through 64 hours 15 minutes after CA and all image data through 1 hour 40 minutes after CA.
No additional medium-priority data played back.

* - Includes one-way light time from spacecraft to Earth (approximately 5 minutes and 30 seconds).