A NASA Discovery mission to conduct the first orbital study of the innermost planet
NASA logo carnegie institution logo JHU APL logo

Why Mercury?
The Mission
Gallery
Education
News Center
Science Operations
Who We Are
FAQs
Related Links
Contacts
Home


Download iPhone/iPad app Information about Mercury Flybys Question and Answer Mercury Orbit Insertion Where is MESSENGER? Where is Mercury now? Subscribe to MESSENGER eNews


A Powerful Drive

Much of the work on the MESSENGER spacecraft over the past two weeks has involved the testing and tweaking of electronic subsystems rather than the addition of new hardware to the spacecraft. The angle seen here provides a great view of a critical component - a Solar Array Drive Actuator (SADA) - that will be difficult to see later in the assembly process. Each of MESSENGER's two solar panels will be mounted to a SADA on opposite sides of the spacecraft. Each solar array can be rotated around one axis by its SADA, thus allowing MESSENGER to better track the Sun when far away to maintain power, and to rotate the arrays away from the Sun to keep them cool.

| Daily Movies

Last updated: July 10, 2003


   Top  | Contacts
© 1999-2014 by JHU/APL