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MESSENGER, MErcury: Surface, Space ENvironment, GEochemistry, and Ranging; A Mission to Orbit and Explore the Planet MercuryMESSENGER is a scientific mission to Mercury. Understanding this extraordinary planet and the forces that have shaped it is fundamental to understanding the processes that have governed the formation, evolution, and dynamics of the terrestrial planets. MESSENGER is a MErcury Surface, Space ENvironment, GEochemistry and Ranging mission to orbit Mercury for one Earth year after completing two flybys of that planet following two flybys of Venus. The necessary flybys return significant new data early in the mission, while the orbital phase, guided by the flyby data, enables a focused scientific investigation of this least-studied terrestrial planet. Answers to key questions about Mercury's high density, crustal composition and structure, volcanic history, core structure, magnetic field generation, polar deposits, exosphere, overall volatile inventory, and magnetosphere are provided by an optimized set of miniaturized space instruments. Our goal is to gain new insight into the formation and evolution of the solar system, including Earth. By traveling to the inner edge of the solar system and exploring a poorly known world, MESSENGER fulfills this quest.
Document ID
20000012856
Document Type
Other
Date Acquired
September 7, 2013
Publication Date
December 1, 1999
Subject Category
Lunar and Planetary Science and Exploration
Report/Patent Number
TSSD-18136
NASA-AO-98-OSS-04
Funding Number(s)
CONTRACT_GRANT: NAG5-8001
CONTRACT_GRANT: JHU-Y00-2303
Distribution Limits
Public
Copyright
Work of the US Gov. Public Use Permitted.

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