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Space

Submission + - MESSENGER In Orbit Around Mercury (jhuapl.edu)

krswan writes: From the NASA press release: "At 9:10 p.m. EDT, engineers in the MESSENGER Mission Operations Center at the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory (APL) in Laurel, Md., received the anticipated radiometric signals confirming nominal burn shutdown and successful insertion of the MESSENGER probe into orbit around the planet Mercury."

If you don't know much about this little spacecraft, check out its website. Designed with a completely passive cooling system, it will stay at 600C on the sun side, but room temperature behind the sunshade. During its 6 year journey it used its solar panels as sails, using the solar wind instead of thrusters to adjust its trajectory. Over then next year it will build a high-rez map of Mercury, and maybe determine if there is really ice hiding in polar craters on Mercury.

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