is a scientific investigation of the planetMercury. Understanding Mercury, and the forces that haveshaped it, is fundamental to understanding the terrestrial planetsand their evolution.MESSENGER
is a MErcury: Surface, Space ENvironment,GEochemistry and Ranging mission to orbit Mercury followingtwo flybys of that planet. The orbital phase will use the flybydata as an initial guide to perform a focused scientificinvestigation of this enigmatic world.MESSENGER will investigate key scientific questionsregarding Mercury’s characteristics and environment duringthese two complementary mission phases. Data are provided byan optimized set of miniaturized space instruments and thespacecraft telecommunications system.MESSENGER will enter Mercury orbit in September 2009and carry out comprehensive measurements for one Earth year.Orbital data collection concludes in September 2010.
Dr. Sean C. SolomonCarnegie Inst. of Washington
JHU/APL, GSFC,Univ. Colorado, Univ. Michigan
Composite Optics, Inc.
Jet Propulsion Laboratory
Launch dates:March 23
April 6, 2004 (15 days)August 2
16, 2004 (15 days)Launch vehicle:Delta II 7925HVenus flybys (2):October 25, 2006June 6, 2007Mercury flybys (2):January 15, 2008October 6, 2008Mercury orbit insertion:September 30, 2009
Schedule and Cost Summary
$286 M Total Mission Cost16 weeks schedule reserve$22 M cost reserve
Mercury Dual Imaging System (MDIS)Gamma-Ray and Neutron Spectrometer (GRNS)Magnetometer (MAG)Mercury Laser Altimeter (MLA)Atmospheric and Surface CompositionSpectrometer (ASCS)Energetic Particle and Plasma Spectrometer (EPPS)X-ray Spectrometer (XRS)Radio Science (RS) uses telecommunication system
Key Spacecraft Characteristics
Power and mass margins >20%All major systems redundantSystem uses off-the-shelf components and standard datainterfacesSubsystem heritage from NEAR and TIMEDLife-cycle costs minimized through advanced on-boardautonomyPassive thermal design requires no high-temperatureelectronicsFixed phased-array antennas replace a deployable-high-gain antennaDual-sided solar array reduces cell temperatures
Technology transfer to robotics, medicine, oil-exploration,industrial laboratory instrumentation, aircraftcommunicationsSmall disadvantaged businesses targeted in six specificareasComprehensive Education/Public Outreach programhttp://sd-www.jhuapl.edu/MESSENGER/
A/B1 Jan 0018 monthsC/D1 Jul 0134 monthsE23 Apr 0489 months