July, 1999

NASA Approves Mission To Mercury

Mariner 10 Mosaic


The Mercury Surface, Space Environment, Geochemistry and Ranging mission (Messenger) will be the first mission to visit Mercury since Mariner 10 flew by the planet in 1974 and 1975. Images from Mariner only covered half of Mercury's surface, but MESSENGER will map the entire planet and study its shape, interior and magenetic field. Scheduled to launch in 2004, the spacecraft will first encounter Mercury in 2008 and enter orbit around the planet in September 2009. One of the goals of the mission is to look for water ice in polar craters.


Former What's New Topics:

First Image From Landsat 7 Earth Remote Sensing Satellite
April, 1999

Mars Global Surveyor Mapping Mission Begins
March, 1999

STARDUST: Mission To A Comet
February, 1999.

Galileo Reveals Process Behind Formation of Jupiter's Rings
September 15, 1998.

Possible Extrasolar Planet Imaged by the NASA Hubble Space Telescope
May 28, 1998

Exploring The Planets

1999 National Air and Space Museum