MESSENGER

Mercury MessengerMErcury Surface, Space ENvironment, GEochemistry and RangingMESSENGER Mercury probeMLA MESSENGEREnergetic Particle and Plasma Spectrometerinstrument aboard MESSENGERMercury Laser AltimeterMercury Surface, Space, Environment, Geochemistry, and Ranging (MESSENGER)MESSENGER mission
MESSENGER was a NASA robotic spacecraft that orbited the planet Mercury between 2011 and 2015, studying Mercury's chemical composition, geology, and magnetic field.wikipedia
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Geology of Mercury

geologyMercury's geologycrustal modification
MESSENGER was a NASA robotic spacecraft that orbited the planet Mercury between 2011 and 2015, studying Mercury's chemical composition, geology, and magnetic field.
After having completed the first solar day of its mission in September 2011, more than 99% of Mercury's surface had been mapped by NASA's MESSENGER probe in both color and monochrome with such detail that scientists' understanding of Mercury's geology has significantly surpassed the level achieved following the Mariner 10 flybys of the 1970s.

Gravity assist

gravitational slingshotgravitational assistslingshot
Its path involved a complex series of flybys – the spacecraft flew by Earth once, Venus twice, and Mercury itself three times, allowing it to decelerate relative to Mercury using minimal fuel.
Both Mariner 10 and MESSENGER performed this maneuver to reach Mercury.

Discovery Program

DiscoveryDiscovery-classDiscovery Mission
However, using a trajectory designed by Chen-wan Yen in 1985, the study showed it was possible to seek a Discovery-class mission by using multiple, consecutive gravity assist, 'swingby' maneuvers around Venus and Mercury, in combination with minor propulsive trajectory corrections, to gradually slow the spacecraft and thereby minimize propellant needs.
In July 1999, NASA selected MESSENGER and Deep Impact as the next Discovery Program missions.

Sean Solomon

Sean C. SolomonSolomon, Sean C
Science operations were managed by Sean Solomon as principal investigator, and mission operations were also conducted at JHU/APL.
Solomon is the principal investigator on the NASA MESSENGER mission to Mercury.

Venus

Morning Starevening starplanet Venus
Its path involved a complex series of flybys – the spacecraft flew by Earth once, Venus twice, and Mercury itself three times, allowing it to decelerate relative to Mercury using minimal fuel.
Several other Venus flybys took place in the 1980s and 1990s that increased the understanding of Venus, including Vega 1 (1985), Vega 2 (1985), Galileo (1990), Magellan (1994), Cassini–Huygens (1998), and MESSENGER (2006).

Delta II

Delta 2Delta II 7925Delta II rocket
MESSENGER was launched aboard a Delta II rocket in August 2004. The MESSENGER probe was launched on August 3, 2004 at 06:15:56 UTC by NASA from Space Launch Complex 17B at the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida, aboard a Delta II 7925 launch vehicle.

Applied Physics Laboratory

Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics LaboratoryJohns Hopkins Applied Physics LaboratoryApplied Physics Lab
The MESSENGER spacecraft was designed and built at the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory.
APL has built and operated many spacecraft, including the TRANSIT navigation system, NEAR, Geosat, ACE, TIMED, CONTOUR, MESSENGER, Van Allen Probes, the New Horizons mission to Pluto, the Parker Solar Probe mission to the outer corona of the Sun, and STEREO.

Mariner 10

10first imagesMariner-Venus-Mercury
During its first flyby of Mercury in January 2008, MESSENGER became the second mission, after Mariner 10 in 1975, to reach Mercury.
Planning for MESSENGER, a spacecraft that surveyed Mercury until 2015, relied extensively on data and information collected by Mariner 10.

Nickel–hydrogen battery

NiH 2 batteryNickel hydrogen batteryNiH 2 batteries
Power was stored in a common-pressure-vessel, 23-ampere-hour nickel–hydrogen battery, with 11 vessels and two cells per vessel.
For example, the ISS, Mercury Messenger, Mars Odyssey and the Mars Global Surveyor are equipped with nickel–hydrogen batteries.

LEROS

LEROS-1CLEROS 1b
The model used was the LEROS 1b, developed and manufactured at AMPAC‐ISP's Westcott works, in the United Kingdom.

Small Deep Space Transponder

The probe included two small deep space transponders for communications with the Deep Space Network and three kinds of antennas: a high gain phased array whose main beam could be electronically steered in one plane, a medium-gain "fan-beam" antenna and a low gain horn with a broad pattern.

Mercury's magnetic field

magnetic fieldmagnetic moment of MercuryMagnetosphere of Mercury
MESSENGER was a NASA robotic spacecraft that orbited the planet Mercury between 2011 and 2015, studying Mercury's chemical composition, geology, and magnetic field.
Whether the magnetic field changed to any significant degree between the Mariner 10 mission and the MESSENGER mission remains an open question.

IBM RAD6000

RAD6000Radiation Hardened IBM Risc 6000
The computer featured two radiation-hardened IBM RAD6000s, a 25 megahertz main processor, and a 10 MHz fault protection processor.

Atmosphere of Mercury

atmosphereexosphereMercury's atmosphere
However, the tenuous atmosphere of Mercury is far too thin for these maneuvers.
Later, in 2008, improved measurements were obtained by the MESSENGER spacecraft, which discovered magnesium in the Mercurian exosphere.

Mercury (planet)

MercuryMercurioplanet Mercury
MESSENGER was a NASA robotic spacecraft that orbited the planet Mercury between 2011 and 2015, studying Mercury's chemical composition, geology, and magnetic field.
Two spacecraft have visited Mercury: Mariner 10 flew by in 1974 and 1975; and MESSENGER, launched in 2004, orbited Mercury over 4,000 times in four years before exhausting its fuel and crashing into the planet's surface on April 30, 2015.

Cape Canaveral Air Force Station

Cape CanaveralCCAFSCape Kennedy
The MESSENGER probe was launched on August 3, 2004 at 06:15:56 UTC by NASA from Space Launch Complex 17B at the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida, aboard a Delta II 7925 launch vehicle.
It was also the launch site for all of the first spacecraft to (separately) fly past each of the planets in the Solar System (1962–1977), the first spacecraft to orbit Mars (1971) and roam its surface (1996), the first American spacecraft to orbit and land on Venus (1978), the first spacecraft to orbit Saturn (2004), and to orbit Mercury (2011), and the first spacecraft to leave the Solar System (1977).

Radiation hardening

radiation-hardenedradiation hardenedradiation hardness
The computer featured two radiation-hardened IBM RAD6000s, a 25 megahertz main processor, and a 10 MHz fault protection processor.

Flyby anomaly

flyby anomalies
The Earth flyby was used to investigate the flyby anomaly, where some spacecraft have been observed to have trajectories that differ slightly from those predicted.
An analysis of the MESSENGER spacecraft (studying Mercury) did not reveal any significant unexpected velocity increase.

Safe mode (spacecraft)

safe modeemergency modefail-safe
Sometime during the closest approach of the last flyby, the spacecraft entered safe mode.

NASA

National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationNASA Advisory CouncilU.S. space program
MESSENGER was a NASA robotic spacecraft that orbited the planet Mercury between 2011 and 2015, studying Mercury's chemical composition, geology, and magnetic field. The MESSENGER probe was launched on August 3, 2004 at 06:15:56 UTC by NASA from Space Launch Complex 17B at the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida, aboard a Delta II 7925 launch vehicle.

Janáček (crater)

Janáček
The spacecraft was estimated to have impacted at 54.4° N, 149.9° W on Suisei Planitia, near the crater Janáček.
The MESSENGER Mercury orbiter crashed near the crater on April 30, 2015.

Robotic spacecraft

roboticunmanned space missionprobe
MESSENGER was a NASA robotic spacecraft that orbited the planet Mercury between 2011 and 2015, studying Mercury's chemical composition, geology, and magnetic field.

Backronym

bacronymbackronymsbackcronym
The name is a backronym for "MErcury Surface, Space ENvironment, GEochemistry, and Ranging", and a reference to the messenger god Mercury from Roman mythology.

Mercury (mythology)

MercuryMercuriusMercury (“Jimmy”)
The name is a backronym for "MErcury Surface, Space ENvironment, GEochemistry, and Ranging", and a reference to the messenger god Mercury from Roman mythology.