A NASA Discovery mission to conduct the first orbital study
of the innermost planet
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MESSENGER

Mission News

March 17, 2014
Team Celebrates Orbital Anniversary, Reports on New Findings at Planetary Conference
Today, the MESSENGER team celebrates the third anniversary of the probe's Mercury orbit insertion. On March 17, 2011 (Eastern Daylight Time), the spacecraft made history when it became the first probe to orbit the innermost planet. Over the last three years, MESSENGER instruments have fully mapped Mercury's surface and yielded discoveries that have changed views on how the inner planets formed and evolved. [more]

Mission Elapsed Time
August 3, 2004
DAYS HRS MINS SECS
Day Spot 1 Day Spot 2 Day Spot 3 Day Spot 4
Hour Spot 1 HourSpot2
Minute Spot 1 Minute Spot 2
Second Spot 1 Second Spot 2
Mercury Orbit Insertion
March 18, 2011
00:45 UTC
DAYS HRS MINS SECS
Day Spot 1a Day Spot 1 Day Spot 2 Day Spot 3
Hour Spot 1 HourSpot2
Minute Spot 1 Minute Spot 2
Second Spot 1 Second Spot 2
Countdown to Insertion Burn
Orbits Around Mercury
Orbits completed: 

Time until start of next orbit (hh:mm:ss): 
Orbit start is at maximum altitude.

Featured Images

April 18, 2014
Peak to Pit
April 16, 2014
Ring of Ridges
April 14, 2014
A Frozen Sea
April 11, 2014
Meteorites
April 9, 2014
Verlaine Shot Rimbaud