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View Full Version : MESSENGER Flips Over to Get Some Shade



Fraser
2006-Jun-23, 06:49 PM
As NASA's MESSENGER spacecraft gets closer to Mercury, it's also flying closer to the Sun. And temperatures are rising. The spacecraft rotated 180-degrees on June 21, pointing its sunshade towards the Sun. This will keep temperatures to safe levels within the spacecraft. MESSENGER will keep this shade between itself and the Sun for the remainder of its mission. The spacecraft's next big event will be its flyby with Venus on October 24.

Read the full blog entry (http://www.universetoday.com/2006/06/23/messenger-flips-over-to-get-some-shade/)

antoniseb
2006-Jun-23, 08:30 PM
The first flyby of Mercury doesn't seem so far away anymore. Go Messenger.

ToSeek
2006-Jun-24, 08:21 PM
The first flyby of Mercury doesn't seem so far away anymore. Go Messenger.

About 18 months to go (January 14, 2008).

parallaxicality
2006-Jun-24, 08:42 PM
Whadaya bet? Will Mercury be like Mars (all Lunar and cratered except on the one spot we didn't see last time round, where it's covered in canyons and volcanoes)?

antoniseb
2006-Jun-24, 10:31 PM
Whadaya bet? Will Mercury be like Mars (all Lunar and cratered except on the one spot we didn't see last time round, where it's covered in canyons and volcanoes)?

That would be pretty interesting. I don't usually bet, but I think volcanos are a longshot.

Dragon Star
2006-Jun-24, 11:49 PM
Ok, question, if it is doing a fly by, what happens after it flies by? Where will it go?

parallaxicality
2006-Jun-24, 11:56 PM
It's not a flyby, it's an orbiter. As to what happens when it runs out of fuel, I imagine they'll just let it crash.

Hamlet
2006-Jun-25, 12:07 AM
Ok, question, if it is doing a fly by, what happens after it flies by? Where will it go?

Eventually Messenger will go into orbit around Mercury. Before it can do that, there are a series of flybys that Messenger needs to do to take advantage of gravity assists to alter its trajectory and prepare it for Mercury Orbit Insertion (MOI). This diagram (http://messenger.jhuapl.edu/the_mission/trajectory.html) shows the various flybys that Messenger will have to do.

This page (http://messenger.jhuapl.edu/the_mission/mission_design.html) describes the mission trajectory in detail.

Dragon Star
2006-Jun-25, 12:12 AM
Oh, ok, reading antoniseb's post made me think it was a fly by because I misread it, it clearly says "first fly by", I really need to stop speed reading.