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MESSENGER spacecraft will crash into Mercury

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posted on Apr, 17 2015 @ 02:02 PM
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Haven't seen this posted in Space Exploration yet, but I think this is major news.

NASA’s MESSENGER probe has weeks to live. Out of propellant, by the end of April it’s destined to slam into Mercury’s surface after more than 4,000 orbits of service to science.

Phil Plait explains it all in his blog The Last Days of MESSENGER.


Because Mercury is so close to the Sun (about 58 million kilometers), the Sun’s gravity pokes at MESSENGER, changing its orbit. It uses hydrazine propellant to alter its orbit, but it's out of fuel. The last orbital maneuver on April 6 used up the remaining hydrazine in its tanks. All that's left is helium (used to keep the tanks pressurized); that can be used as a propellant, but it's not terribly efficient. A few more "burns" are planned to raise its minimum distance above the surface, but they will only add a bit of time to MESSENGER's life. It's not clear when exactly, but sometime in late April or early May the probe is expected to crash into the planet’s surface.


Now, as ever, I wish it had a live HD video cam to document the event!

Main MESSENGER website for the latest news: www.nasa.gov...




posted on Apr, 17 2015 @ 02:23 PM
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a reply to: wildespace


IT'S DOOOOMED!

I'm glad they are squeezing every last potential use out of messenger.. but one thing they should have done in my opinion. Knowing it's going to crash into the surface.
Is check for the planets hollow points. Like we did crashing the satellites into our moon.( make it ring out like a bell ). Seems a waist to go all that way and not consider underground caverns...

Non the less. An awesome feat! Star and flag!

edit on 17-4-2015 by Bigburgh because: (no reason given)



As far as HD footage... you are correct. A GOPRO hero... it survives everything. It's an Extremaphile camera...

edit on 17-4-2015 by Bigburgh because: (no reason given)



posted on Apr, 17 2015 @ 02:27 PM
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An HD camera would be fantastic. I'd say Messenger had a good run, though.



posted on Apr, 17 2015 @ 02:30 PM
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a reply to: AdmireTheDistance

Wouldn't it be funny if the last image from the satellite HD camera would be crashing into a building, or other proof of aliens,

maybe that's why they don't have the video!



posted on Apr, 17 2015 @ 02:37 PM
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Wilde/Admire/phat... we thought the same.. GoPro and RedBull needs to fund this!

edit on 17-4-2015 by Bigburgh because: (no reason given)

edit on 17-4-2015 by Bigburgh because: (no reason given)



posted on Apr, 17 2015 @ 02:43 PM
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originally posted by: Phatdamage
a reply to: AdmireTheDistance

Wouldn't it be funny if the last image from the satellite HD camera would be crashing into a building, or other proof of aliens,

maybe that's why they don't have the video!

On Mercury? Somehow, I just don't see that happening lol.



posted on Apr, 17 2015 @ 03:40 PM
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a reply to: AdmireTheDistance

Never say never. They may be living inside a protective shield




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