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Mission to Mercury
January 14, 2008 3:28 PM   Subscribe

Mercury Messenger, a NASA probe, just performed a fly-by of Mercury at a height of 200 kilometers. It's the first spacecraft to visit Mercury since 1975.
posted by Artw (21 comments total) 6 users marked this as a favorite

 
It's just as I thought: Mercury hasn't changed a bit since the 70s.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 3:33 PM on January 14, 2008


I'm kinda disappointed we don't have more of these probes around all the planets in our system. This stuff is too interesting not to.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 3:38 PM on January 14, 2008 [1 favorite]


<ahem>ATTEMPT NO LANDING THERE!
posted by blue_beetle at 3:57 PM on January 14, 2008


I can't zoom in on the aliens. Where is the link to Googlemaps Mercury version?
posted by misha at 4:13 PM on January 14, 2008


Where is the link to Googlemaps Mercury version?

Attempt no zooming there.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 4:17 PM on January 14, 2008


Attempt not Street View™ there.


posted by basicchannel at 4:19 PM on January 14, 2008


no/not
posted by basicchannel at 4:19 PM on January 14, 2008


Check the array of Xserve RAIDS in the Nasa Space Science Data Center logo.
posted by Devils Rancher at 4:20 PM on January 14, 2008


(my god! It's full of craters!)
posted by Devils Rancher at 4:21 PM on January 14, 2008


thanks, i had forgotten all about this probe. i remember seeing the "leaving earth" movie a few years ago, and its still amazing even now.
posted by joeblough at 4:25 PM on January 14, 2008


I vaguely remember something like this.
posted by hal9k at 5:18 PM on January 14, 2008


If you are thinking "hey, I know Mercury is small but that looks further than 200 km" the photo they have up is from 760,000 km. So, you're right.

It's still 16 hours or so until it starts transmitting the data back to Earth.
posted by smackfu at 5:49 PM on January 14, 2008


*Obligatory juvenile comment referencing Uranus*
posted by Tube at 5:56 PM on January 14, 2008


It's still 16 hours or so until it starts transmitting the data back to Earth.

That's what the aliens want us to think.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 5:57 PM on January 14, 2008


My interest over time in NASA's explorations of the solar system sort of looks like this: \

I kind of wish I was six again, sometimes.
posted by blacklite at 6:55 PM on January 14, 2008


Fly fast sweet tiny Mercury - if NASA gets their measuring tape around your equator you'll be declared Planeta Non Grata
posted by CynicalKnight at 8:19 PM on January 14, 2008 [2 favorites]


That's no moon... that's a space station!
posted by papercake at 9:32 PM on January 14, 2008


blacklite: That's too bad, because to me it's incredible what we keep discovering. When I was six, only Saturn had rings, Pluto was a planet (and the last gas stop before Wolf 359), Mars was more than likely dry and dead, Earth was the only planet with active volcanoes ... and of course, when an object leaves the solar system, it does so with trivially predictable physics.

If all you're interested in is more photos, I suppose that could get old, but each trip we take out seems to tell us how little we know.

Especially Mars. Mars tells us we don't know jack about landing shit on other planets about 1/3 of the time, still.
posted by dhartung at 12:29 AM on January 15, 2008


A flyby just 200 Km away from the surface of a planet distant how many million kilometers ? At what speed ? That's fucking amazing, I say fucking amazing. I am in awe.

I am so unsubscribing to "creationist science weekly"
posted by elpapacito at 5:26 AM on January 15, 2008


Sure. 1975. Just a flyby. And they never call, never write...what if, God forbid, Mercury should get cancer, all that sun. Where you going to send your spacecraft then, big shot?
posted by Smedleyman at 12:04 PM on January 15, 2008


Actual results!
posted by smackfu at 3:56 PM on January 16, 2008 [2 favorites]


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