Tag: Its mission

NASA’s Messenger Spacecraft Crashes Into Mercury, Captures Stunning Shots Before Demise


Mercury


Excerpt from malaysiandigest.com


NASA confirmed Thursday afternoon that its Messenger spacecraft collided into Mercury’s surface at more than 8,000 mph, creating a new crater on the planet.





“Going out with a bang as it impacts the surface of Mercury, we are celebrating Messenger as more than a successful mission,” John Grunsfeld, associate administrator for NASA’s Science Mission Directorate said. “The Messenger mission will continue to provide scientists with a bonanza of new results as we begin the next phase of this mission — analyzing the exciting data already in the archives, and unraveling the mysteries of Mercury.”






But before Messenger’s years-long mission came an end, NASA released several new photos of Mercury, as taken by the spacecraft. Some of these photos were composite imagery, combining years of data and photos collected by Messenger, according to CNET.





Here’s one of the incredible false-color images recently published by NASA. The different colors signify variations in mineral composition, topography and other factors on Mercury’s surface.
io9 reports that the spacecraft, which was the first to orbit Mercury, captured some 270,000 images of the planet during its four-year mission. The website also said the impact will create a 52-foot-wide crater in Mercury’s surface.


The spacecraft made several big discoveries during its mission, including the presence of ice in some dark craters near the poles, according to The New York Times. That’s pretty big news on a planet that reaches temperatures as high as 800 degrees Fahrenheit during the day.


The mission ended, according to NASA, because the spacecraft’s thrusters have run out of fuel.
- TheWeatherChannel

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Dawn Enters Orbit Around Dwarf Planet Ceres ~ Video

Ceres Dawn




Dwarf Planet Ceres

Excerpt from spacenews.com

NASA’s Dawn spacecraft arrived in orbit around the dwarf planet Ceres March 6, completing a journey of nearly seven and a half years and five billion kilometers.  In a statement, NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory said Dawn entered orbit about 61,000 kilometers above Ceres at 7:39 am EST March 6, sending a signal to Earth about an hour later confirming it was in orbit and in good health.  “We feel exhilarated,” Dawn principal investigator Chris Russell said in the statement. “We have much to do over the next year and a half, but we are now on station with ample reserves, and a robust plan to obtain our science objectives.”

Dawn will gradually spiral down to its initial science orbit, 13,500 kilometers above Ceres, by April. Later in its mission Dawn will move gradually closer to the surface, eventually moving into an orbit of 375 kilometers.  The Dawn spacecraft, built by Orbital ATK, launched on a United Launch Alliance Delta 2 rocket in September 2007. After making a gravity assist flyby of Mars in February 2009, it entered orbit around the large main-belt asteroid Vesta in July 2011. It remained there for more than a year, using its ion thrusters to leave orbit in September 2012 to head to Ceres. 

Ceres, the largest object in the main asteroid belt between the orbits of Mars and Jupiter, was the first asteroid discovered by astronomers, in 1801. The International Astronomical Union designated Ceres a “dwarf planet” in 2006, a new category of objects that also includes the former planet Pluto.


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Dawn will gradually spiral down to its initial science orbit, 13,500 kilometers above Ceres, by April. Later in its mission Dawn will move gradually closer to the surface, eventually moving into an orbit of 375 kilometers.
The Dawn spacecraft, built by Orbital ATK, launched on a United Launch Alliance Delta 2 rocket in September 2007. After making a gravity assist flyby of Mars in February 2009, it entered orbit around the large main-belt asteroid Vesta in July 2011. It remained there for more than a year, using its ion thrusters to leave orbit in September 2012 to head to Ceres.
Ceres, the largest object in the main asteroid belt between the orbits of Mars and Jupiter, was the first asteroid discovered by astronomers, in 1801. The International Astronomical Union designated Ceres a “dwarf planet” in 2006, a new category of objects that also includes the former planet Pluto.
- See more at: http://spacenews.com/dawn-enters-orbit-around-ceres/#sthash.yoclEQI4.dpuf
WASINGTON — NASA’s Dawn spacecraft arrived in orbit around the dwarf planet Ceres March 6, completing a journey of nearly seven and a half years and five billion kilometers.
In a statement, NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory said Dawn entered orbit about 61,000 kilometers above Ceres at 7:39 am EST March 6, sending a signal to Earth about an hour later confirming it was in orbit and in good health.
“We feel exhilarated,” Dawn principal investigator Chris Russell said in the statement. “We have much to do over the next year and a half, but we are now on station with ample reserves, and a robust plan to obtain our science objectives.”
- See more at: http://spacenews.com/dawn-enters-orbit-around-ceres/#sthash.yoclEQI4.dpuf

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Ready for Dimensional Living?

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