Friday, March 18, 2011


Only a few hours ago the MErcury Surface, Space ENvironment, GEochemistry and Ranging or the MESSENGER space craft for short, entered orbit around Mercury, and is unique in being the only spacecraft ever to do so!

Now I know some of you out there are thinking, how did we make a spacecraft that can survive the extreme temperature that is found that close to the sun? Well it all starts with the orbit, the MESSENGER flies in as close as 200 kilometers to the surface of mercury and then flies away more than 15,000 km from the surface, it does all of this every 12 hours. The flying away is what keeps it cool enough to continue working its sensors.

The MESSENGER will look for chemical signs of volcanic activity on mercury.
VOLCANIC ACTIVITY ON MERCURY?? I hear you cry, well indeed, scientists believe that there is volcanic activity on the surface and the MESSENGER is at the end of its 6 and a half year journey to discover if this is true.



Let us know what you think!