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MESSENGER Mission News
March 7, 2008

MESSENGER Scientists to Discuss Findings From Mercury Flyby
During its January flyby of Mercury, the MESSENGER spacecraft observed swaths of the innermost planet never before seen up close. Members of the MESSENGER mission team will present findings from that historic encounter and discuss Mercury science during the 39th Lunar and Planetary Science Conference March 10-14 at the South Shore Harbour Resort and Conference Center in League City, Texas.

At 8:30 a.m. CDT, MESSENGER Principal Investigator Sean Solomon of the Carnegie Institution of Washington and science team member Mark Robinson of Arizona State University will chair a special session, “MESSENGER at Mercury I,” in the Crystal Ballroom. A list of topics to be covered is available online at http://www.lpi.usra.edu/meetings/lpsc2008/pdf/sess101.pdf.

That afternoon, MESSENGER team members Faith Vilas (MMT Observatory) and Clark Chapman (Southwest Research Institute) will chair a follow-on special session, “MESSENGER at Mercury II,” at 2:30 p.m. CDT in the Crystal Ballroom. A list of topics to be covered in this session is available online at http://www.lpi.usra.edu/meetings/lpsc2008/pdf/sess152.pdf.

Additional information and features from MESSENGER’s first flyby of Mercury are online at http://messenger.jhuapl.edu/mer_flyby1.html.

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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