posted on Jul, 1 2004 @ 05:05 PM
The next target for space exploration is mercury, launch from Florida will take place in the next 14 days or so should be an interesting mission...
first time I hear of this tho....
A team of Howard County scientists and engineers are on a quest to open the next chapter of space exploration.
For eight years, they have toiled on a ground-breaking NASA mission called Messenger, a probe that will orbit Mercury for the first time and reveal a
side of the planet _ literally _ that man has never seen.
* Location: nearest planet to the sun.
* Name origin: named after the Roman god, Mercury.
* Revolution period: about 88 Earth days.
* Size: about 1/3 the size of Earth.
* Geography: heavily cratered body featuring a large impact basin stretching 1,300 kilometers
* Launch Date: during a 15-day period that opens July 30.
* Cost: approximately $338 million.
* Weight: a little more than one ton.
* Orbital mission date: Messenger will begin a year-long orbital mission in March 2011.
* Return: Messenger will not return to Earth. Several years after the mission is completed, the spacecraft is expected to hit Mercury.
Mercury probe: Messenger Info