A NASA Discovery mission to conduct the first orbital study
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MESSENGER News Archive

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    MESSENGER's Trajectory Correction Maneuver 13 (TCM-13), its first since its maiden pass at Venus in October, was successfully executed December 2 and will help keep the spacecraft on track for its second flyby of Venus on June 5, 2007. This maneuver changed MESSENGER's velocity by 25.6 meters per second (84.1 feet per second) in a direction oriented 41.7� from the spacecraft-to-Sun direction. [more]

    Clark R. Chapman, of the Southwest Research Institute, Boulder, Colo., had the good fortune to be in Tucson, Ariz., on November 8, when Mercury made its way across the face of the Sun in the first Mercury transit in more than three years. Chapman and his wife visited famed comet discoverer David Levy at his home in the desert near Tucson. Also attending the backyard viewing was Eli Maor, author of the book "Venus in Transit," (about the even rarer transits of Venus) and his wife.[more]

  • Upcoming Mercury/Sun Transit Whets the Appetite for MESSENGER Discoveries (November 6, 2006)
    On Wednesday, November 8, the planet Mercury will make a rare trek across the face of the Sun, beginning at 2:12 p.m. EST and lasting for nearly five hours. The transit will be captured via a live Webcast featuring panel discussions with scientists, including Deborah Domingue, MESSENGER's deputy project scientist. [more]

  • MESSENGER Completes Venus Flyby (October 24, 2006)
    NASA's Mercury-bound MESSENGER spacecraft came within 2,990 kilometers (1,860 miles) of the surface of Venus early this morning during its second planetary encounter. The spacecraft used the tug of the planet's gravity to change its trajectory significantly, shrinking the radius of its orbit around the Sun and bringing it closer to Mercury. [more]

  • MESSENGER Tweaks Its Route to Mercury (September 15, 2006)
    The MESSENGER trajectory correction maneuver 11 (TCM 11) on September 12 lasted just under four minutes and adjusted the spacecraft's velocity by about 1.68 meters per second (5.5 feet per second). The short-duration maneuver kept MESSENGER on track for next month's Venus flyby. [more]

  • Happy Anniversary, MESSENGER! (August 3, 2006)
    Today marks the second anniversary of MESSENGER's launch. "It's still more than four and a half years to Mercury Orbit Insertion in March 2011, and there are many milestones between now and then," says Dr. Sean C. Solomon, of the Carnegie Institution of Washington, who leads the mission as principal investigator. "But it's worth pausing for a few moments today to appreciate how far we've come." [more]

  • MESSENGER Flips Sunshade Toward the Sun (June 21, 2006)
    On June 21, the MESSENGER spacecraft performed its final "flip" maneuver for the mission. The 16-minute maneuver, designed to keep MESSENGER operating at safe temperatures as it moves closer to the Sun, wrapped up at 9:34 a.m. EDT, with successful reacquisition of signal from MESSENGER's front-side antenna. [more]

  • MESSENGER Passes the Billion-Mile Mark! (March 24, 2006)
    On March 23 MESSENGER reached the one-billion mile mark, placing the spacecraft about one-fifth of the way toward its destination to orbit Mercury. On that same day, in the early morning hours (UTC), the spacecraft's distance from the Sun was about the same as the Earth's distance to the Sun. [more]

  • MESSENGER Lines Up for Venus Flyby (February 22, 2006)
    MESSENGER trajectory correction maneuver 10 (TCM 10) lasted just over two minutes and adjusted its velocity by about 1.4 meters per second (4.6 feet per second). The short-duration maneuver placed the spacecraft on track for its next major mission event: the first Venus flyby on October 24, 2006. [more]

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