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Monday, January 14, 2008

On MESSENGER's Wings


Mercury imaged by the approaching MESSENGER Spacecraft
Credit: NASA/Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory/Carnegie Institution of Washington

The MESSENGER spacecraft flew by the planet Mercury this afternoon, the first of three flybys before the spacecraft enters orbit around the planet in 2011.

This evening some friends and I (after a stop for Mexican food and margaritas just outside the Lab) attended a Planetary Society sponsored event at the Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory, the organization which built and is now controlling the pioneering spacecraft. We heard one of the leading mission scientists present a good background on the science and exploration of Mercury. However, the latest results and images from the flyby won't be available until Tuesday, so check back with the MESSENGER web site.

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