Date: March 15, 2011, at 1 p.m. EDT
After more than a dozen laps through the inner solar system, NASA's MErcury Surface, Space ENvironment, GEochemistry, and Ranging (MESSENGER) spacecraft will move into orbit around Mercury on March 17. The durable, APL-built spacecraft – carrying seven science instruments and fortified against the blistering environs near the Sun – will be the first to orbit the innermost planet. While orbiting Mercury, MESSENGER’s instruments will perform the first complete reconnaissance of the cratered planet’s geochemistry, geophysics, geologic history, atmosphere, magnetosphere, and plasma environment.
- Andrew B. Calloway, MESSENGER Mission Operations Manager, The Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory (APL)
- Carl S. Engelbrecht, MESSENGER Participating Scientist, JHU/APL
- Sean C. Solomon, MESSENGER Principal Investigator, Carnegie Institution of Washington
The Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory
Carnegie Institution of Washington
The NASA MESSENGER Science Update will take place on Tuesday, March 15, 2011, 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.