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MESSENGER Mission News
April 17, 2009

MESSENGER Team to Receive National Space Club Award
The National Space Club will award the MESSENGER team its Nelson P. Jackson Aerospace Award this evening at the 52nd annual Dr. Robert H. Goddard Memorial Dinner in Washington, D.C. The award, named in honor of the National Space Club's founder and past president, is presented annually to recognize exceptional teamwork between government and industry in the missile, aircraft, and space fields.

“It is very heartening that the National Space Club has recognized the accomplishments to date of the MESSENGER spacecraft,” offers MESSENGER Principal Investigator Sean Solomon. “A list of past recipients of the Jackson Award includes some very impressive space missions, so we are deeply honored to be numbered among that group. It is particularly fitting that this award is given for teamwork, because MESSENGER is very much the product of the cooperative efforts of an exceptional group of engineers, managers, and scientists from academic laboratories, industry, and NASA. Everyone on the MESSENGER team is being acknowledged for those efforts tonight.”

MESSENGER (MErcury Surface, Space ENvironment, GEochemistry, and Ranging) is a NASA-sponsored scientific investigation of the planet Mercury and the first space mission designed to orbit the planet closest to the Sun. The MESSENGER spacecraft launched on August 3, 2004, and after flybys of Earth, Venus, and Mercury will start a yearlong study of its target planet in March 2011. Dr. Sean C. Solomon, of the Carnegie Institution of Washington, leads the mission as Principal Investigator. The Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory built and operates the MESSENGER spacecraft and manages this Discovery-class mission for NASA.

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