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MESSENGER Mission News
September 27, 2011

MESSENGER Reveals New Details of Planet Mercury
NASA will host a media teleconference at 2 p.m. EDT on Thursday, September 29, to discuss new data and images from the first spacecraft to orbit Mercury. The new findings are reported in a series of seven papers published in a special section of Science magazine on September 30.

NASA's MErcury Surface, Space ENvironment, GEochemistry, and Ranging (MESSENGER) spacecraft conducted fifteen laps through the inner solar system for more than six years before achieving the historic orbit insertion on March 18.

Briefing participants are:
  • Ed Grayzeck, MESSENGER program manager, NASA Headquarters, Washington
  • James Head, III, professor of geological sciences, Brown University
  • David Blewett, MESSENGER participating scientist and staff scientist, Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory (APL), Laurel, Md.
  • Patrick Peplowski, staff scientist, APL
  • Thomas Zurbuchen, professor of space science and aerospace engineering, University of Michigan
To participate in the teleconference, reporters must contact Dwayne Brown at dwayne.c.brown@nasa.gov or 202-358-1726, by noon on September 29 for dial-in instructions.

Audio of the teleconference will be streamed live at:


Immediately before the teleconference, related images and supporting briefing information will be available at:


NOTE: This link will not be live until September 29 at 2 p.m. EDT.

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 entered orbit about Mercury on March 17, 2011 (March 18, 2011 UTC), to begin a yearlong study of its target planet. 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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