Date: October 29, 2008, at 1 p.m. EDT
NASA's MErcury Surface, Space ENvironment, GEochemistry, and Ranging (MESSENGER) is the first mission sent to orbit the planet closest to the Sun. On October 6, 2008, the probe flew by Mercury for the second time this year, using the planet’s gravity for a critical assist needed to keep the spacecraft on track for its orbit insertion around the planet three years from now. During this month's Mercury pass MESSENGER’s cameras captured more than 1,200 high-resolution and color images of the planet – unveiling another 30 percent of Mercury’s surface that had never before been seen by spacecraft and gathering essential data for planning the overall mission.
- Marilyn M. Lindstrom, MESSENGER Program Scientist, NASA Headquarters, Washington
- Brian J. Anderson, MESSENGER Deputy Project Scientist, The Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory (APL)
- Ronald J. Vervack, Jr., MESSENGER Participating Scientist, The Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory (APL)
- Maria T. Zuber, MESSENGER Co-Investigator, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
- Mark S. Robinson, MESSENGER Co-Investigator, Arizona State University
The Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory
Carnegie Institution of Washington
The NASA MESSENGER Science Update will take place on Wednesday, October 29, 2008, at 1 p.m. EDT. Reporters may ask questions from participating NASA locations. The briefing also will be streamed live on NASA's Web site at: http://www.nasa.gov.