Rendezvous with Mercury – redux

The first fly-by of Mercury by a probe from Earth in 33 years took place in January this year [plenty of images and videos there], before departing the planet on January 14, and on Monday morning NASA’s Messenger probe, is due to return to Mercury for its second fly-by of the closest planet to the Sun. The planet is already clearly visible from the probe and the animation below details the measurements that will be taken this time. The Messenger flyby 2 page will update as more information becomes available. Messenger has already visited Venus twice and there’s one more flyby of Mercury scheduled for September 2009 ahead of a year-long orbital mission, which begins in March 2011. (All images credit: NASA/Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory/Carnegie Institution of Washington).

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  • The Raven

    The footage…makes you feel very small and very alone.

    I always wondered what it would be like to be on those Voyager probes…this from wiki:

    “Voyager 1 is not heading towards any particular star, but in about 40,000 years it will be within 1.6 light years of the star AC+79 3888 in the Ophiuchus constellation.”

    “Voyager 2 is not headed toward any particular star. It will pass by the star Sirius at a distance of 1.32 parsecs (4.3 ly, 25 trillion mi) in about 296,000 years.”

  • Pete Baker

    Raven

    I think it’s called perspective..

    Something more people here could do with..