A NASA Discovery mission to conduct the first orbital study
of the innermost planet
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Turning Over

The MESSENGER spacecraft is currently being assembled in the a cleanroom facility at the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory in Laurel MD. To allow engineers easy access to the spacecraft during assembly it is mounted in a "Turnover Fixture" - here the spaceraft can be easily reoriented through 180 degrees of rotation. At this early stage of assembly the inner portions of the spacecraft are still visible. Later as the sunshade, solar panels and thermal blankets are added the spacecraft will take on a entirely new look.

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Last updated: March 28, 2003

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