Mercury Messenger BepiColombo Resources Planets

The Planet Mercury:

Research Resources on the Internet
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Visit these resources for research into the planet Mercury and the interplanetary probes MESSENGER, BepiColombo and Mariner 10. You also may wish to bookmark this handy reference page for later use.

MESSENGER spacecraft:
MESSENGER is a scientific spacecraft built to investigate the planet Mercury. Its name is an acronym for MErcury Surface, Space ENvironment, GEochemistry, and Ranging. Along the way, MESSENGER will fly by Earth in August 2005, then twice by Venus in October 2006 and June 2007, and then three times by Mercury in January 2008, October 2008 and September 2009. Finally, MESSENGER will fly into orbit around Mercury in March 2011. It will send back science information during those numerous flybys and then for a year from its orbit around Mercury.
JHU APL artist concept of MESSENGER spacecraft
Artist's view of the interplanetary probe MESSENGER at Mercury. Click to enlarge image from NASA/Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory/Carnegie Institution of Washington.
Planet Mercury:
Named for the mythological messenger of the gods, Mercury is a mysterious, hot, dense, rocky body. It is the planet nearest to the Sun and the eighth largest of the nine planets.
Mariner 10 spacecraft:
Mariner 10
Mariner 10
Also known as Mariner Venus/Mercury 73 and Mariner-J, the spacecraft Mariner 10 flew to and by Mercury three times in 1974 and 1975. Much of what we know today about Mercury comes from data sent home to Earth during those flybys.
The European Space Agency (ESA) and the Japan Space Exploration Agency (JAXA) Institute of Space and Astronautical Science (ISAS) plan to send a spacecraft named BepiColombo to Mercury. It would be launched in 2011-12 just as MESSENGER's work is winding down. The BepiColombo project will include two spacecraft to map the planet and examine the planet's magnetosphere – Mercury Planetary Orbiter (MPO) and Mercury Magnetospheric Orbiter (MMO).
Discovery of Mercury:
Images of Mercury:
Other Mercury and MESSENGER Resources:

Learn more about the planet Mercury  »»
Learn more about the MESSENGER spacecraft  »»
Learn more about the planet Mercury and the MESSENGER probe  »»

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