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Messenger Fact Sheet 2007

Messenger Fact Sheet 2007

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Published by Bob Andrepont

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Published by: Bob Andrepont on Feb 15, 2011
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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Mission Overview
MESSENGER is a scientic investigation o the planet Mercury.Understanding Mercury, and the orces that have shaped it, isundamental to understanding the terrestrial planets and theirevolution. The MESSENGER (MErcury Surace, Space ENvironment,GEochemistry, and Ranging) mission will orbit Mercuryollowing three fybys o that planet. The orbital phase willuse the fyby data as an initial guide to perorm a ocusedscientic investigation o this enigmatic world.MESSENGER will investigate key scientic questions regardingMercury’s characteristics and environment during these twocomplementary mission phases. Data are provided by anoptimized set o miniaturized space instruments and thespacecrat telecommunications system.MESSENGER will enter orbit about Mercury in March 2011 andcarry out comprehensive measurements or one Earth year.Orbital data collection concludes in March 2012.
Mission Summary
3 August 2004
Launch vehicle:
Delta II 7925H-9.5
Earth yby:
2 August 2005
Venus ybys (2):
24 October 2006, 5 June 2007
Mercury ybys (3):
14 January 2008, 6 October 2008,29 September 2009
Mercury orbit insertion:
18 March 2011
Key Spacecrat Characteristics
requires no high-temperature electronics
 high-gain antenna
 temperatures near Mercury
Science Payload
Mercury Dual ImagingSystem (MDIS)
takes detailedcolor and monochromeimages o Mercury’s surace.
Gamma-Ray and NeutronSpectrometer (GRNS)
measures surace elements(including polar materials).
X-Ray Spectrometer (XRS)
 maps elements in Mercury’scrust.
Magnetometer (MAG)
mapsMercury’s magnetic eld.
Mercury Laser Altimeter(MLA)
measures topographyo surace eatures; determineswhether Mercury has a fuidcore.
Mercury Atmosphericand Surace CompositionSpectrometer (MASCS)
 measures atmosphericspecies and surace minerals.
Energetic Particle andPlasma Spectrometer (EPPS)
 measures charged particles inMercury’s magnetosphere.
Radio Science
uses Dopplertracking to determineMercury’s mass distribution.

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