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View Full Version : Mercury, here we come... again.



jest
2004-Jul-16, 07:13 AM
We're headin' back to Mercury (http://www.cnn.com/2004/TECH/space/07/15/space.mercury.reut/index.html)...

Any thoughts on that?

I guess it anything it'll be nostalgic for those who were around 30 years ago to see the Mariner images for the first time....

AND we'll be way better armed with scientific gear in tow.

Trinity
2004-Jul-16, 07:37 AM
All this new space exploration makes me randy.

Was that inapproriate? *hides*

Argos
2004-Jul-16, 01:09 PM
We're headin' back to Mercury

In a sluggish fashion...

ToSeek
2004-Jul-16, 01:53 PM
We've been discussing that here. (http://www.badastronomy.com/phpBB/viewtopic.php?t=4137) Lots of my former coworkers at APL are involved with this mission. Let's hope it's a success!

Argos
2004-Jul-16, 02:19 PM
So, our problem is braking, cause we´ll be speeding up all the time en route to Mercury.

How much time this trip would take, if it wasn´t for budget constraints, I mean, using a direct transfer orbit?

ToSeek
2004-Jul-16, 02:32 PM
So, our problem is braking, cause we´ll be speeding up all the time en route to Mercury.

How much time this trip would take, if it wasn´t for budget constraints, I mean, using a direct transfer orbit?

If you trust this website (http://www.geocities.com/albmont/hohtransf.htm), a Hohmann transfer orbit takes about 3.5 months. But you're probably talking about launching something that's 95% fuel and 5% science probe.

Argos
2004-Jul-16, 02:40 PM
Oh, my... Thanks, ToSeek.

um3k
2004-Jul-16, 03:14 PM
I think it's great that we'll finally be able to map the entire planet. :D

ToSeek
2004-Jul-16, 04:29 PM
New Scientist article (http://www.newscientist.com/news/news.jsp?id=ns99996171)


Another task the probe will undertake is to peer into Mercury's polar craters. These never see the light of day because the planet rotates at a nearly perfect perpendicular angle to the plane of its orbit around the Sun.

The craters never get above –200°C, and radar observations from Earth suggest they could be filled with water ice. A gamma-ray and neutron spectrometer will study the craters to determine if the source is water ice, sulphur ice, or just super-chilled rock.

jest
2004-Jul-16, 04:55 PM
All this new space exploration makes me randy.

Was that inapproriate? *hides*

understood. :wink:

And ToSeek.. I did a search on the topic of Mercury 2004 and, after sifting through about 20 or more topics (clearly I'm an idiot with this search process on here), never came across the one you had brought to my attention. Thanks though, good to know it's there.

Ut
2004-Jul-16, 04:59 PM
All this new space exploration makes me randy.

Was that inapproriate? *hides*

Hi, Randy! I'm Chris.

ToSeek
2004-Jul-16, 05:48 PM
All this new space exploration makes me randy.

Was that inapproriate? *hides*

understood. :wink:

And ToSeek.. I did a search on the topic of Mercury 2004 and, after sifting through about 20 or more topics (clearly I'm an idiot with this search process on here), never came across the one you had brought to my attention. Thanks though, good to know it's there.

I had the advantage that I knew it existed, since I've posted there. But I'm not invulnerable to the same lapse.

Manchurian Taikonaut
2004-Jul-16, 05:49 PM
The Euros are going also


There is another mission also

it looks like Europe and Japanese want to go there aswell, you can read about it at the ESA website. The EU is planning to deign a good craft with japan in the project with them.

Quote
The journey from Earth to Mercury will also be a first. The spacecraft must brake against the Sun's gravity, which increases with proximity to the Sun, rather than accelerate away from it, as is the case with journeys to the outer Solar System. BepiColombo will accomplish this by making clever use of the gravity of the Moon, Venus and Mercury itself and by using solar electric propulsion (SEP). This innovative combination of low thrust space propulsion and gravity assist will be demonstrated by ESA's technology mission, SMART-1.

When approaching Mercury, each spacecraft will use the planet's gravity plus a conventional rocket engine to insert itself into a polar orbit. Observations from orbit will continue for one Earth year.

Whilst the precise details of the BepiColombo mission are being defined, key technologies are under development at ESTEC, ESA's technical centre in the Netherlands.





2 orbiting craft into one mission probe to Mercury, the Mercury Planetary Orbiter (MPO), and the Japanese space agency ISAS/JAXA will contribute the other, the Mercury Magnetospheric Orbiter (MMO) into the Giuseppe (Bepi) Colombo mission a new deep-space probe using electric propulsion.

http://sci.esa.int/science-e/www/object/index.cfm?fobjectid=33022

I think NASA's MESSENGER probe will go there first and arrive earlier, but we shall see which missions go ahead



nice to see more exploration of this planet :D

um3k
2004-Jul-16, 06:05 PM
ESA originally planned a lander, but that got canceled. :(

ToSeek
2004-Jul-16, 07:03 PM
It's not clear why NASA and the ESA are sending separate probes. You'd think that if they worked together, maybe they could afford a lander between them.

Trinity
2004-Jul-16, 08:26 PM
All this new space exploration makes me randy.

Was that inapproriate? *hides*

Hi, Randy! I'm Chris.

Har har :P

Manchurian Taikonaut
2005-Nov-21, 01:02 PM
MESSENGER Meets Venus!
http://www.venustoday.com/news/viewsr.html?pid=18664
On Nov. 7, 2005, the MESSENGER spacecraft passed inside the orbit of Venus. While Venus was about 54 million miles from the spacecraft at this time, the spacecraft was 67.2 million miles (108.1 million kilometers) from the Sun.

Launch window
2006-Mar-27, 05:29 PM
photo of the lift-off
http://www.launchphotography.com/MESSENGER.html
good info here
http://spacenews.dancebeat.info/index.php?topic=messenger

Melusine
2006-Mar-27, 06:10 PM
photo of the lift-off
http://www.launchphotography.com/MESSENGER.html
good info here
http://spacenews.dancebeat.info/index.php?topic=messenger
Launch, are you posting a progress report? I didn't notice the date at first!

The site has a countdown clock for it's flyby of Venus:

http://messenger.jhuapl.edu/



March 24, 2006
MESSENGER Passes the Billion-Mile Mark!
On March 23 MESSENGER reached the one-billion mile mark, placing the spacecraft about one-fifth of the way toward its destination to orbit Mercury. On that same day, in the early morning hours (UTC), the spacecraft’s distance from the Sun was about the same as the Earth’s distance to the Sun. [more (http://messenger.jhuapl.edu/news_room/status_report_03_24_06.html)]


Marine 10 redux and improved.