Wednesday, September 30, 2009


The MESSENGER probe completed its flyby of Mercury yesterday and seems to be in good shape looking ahead to the next phase of its mission-- mapping Mercury in detail from orbit starting in 2011.

There was a glitch during the flyby, however. Just as MESSENGER was reaching its closest approach to Mercury-- 142 miles-- it stopped transmitting data. Team members are sure the probe continued taking pictures, though, and expect to get most or all of the data at some point.

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