PIA18145: MESSENGER at Mercury (Artist's Concept)


MESSENGER at Mercury (Artist’s Concept)

Caption:

Artist's impression of the MErcury Surface, Space ENvironment, GEochemistry, and Ranging (MESSENGER) spacecraft in orbit at Mercury. MESSENGER launched from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Fla., on Aug. 3, 2004, beginning a yearlong orbital study of Mercury in March 2011. Though the Sun is up to 11 times brighter at Mercury than we see on Earth and surface temperatures can reach 450 degrees Celsius (about 840 degrees Fahrenheit), MESSENGER's instruments will operate at room temperature behind a sunshade of heat-resistant ceramic fabric. The spacecraft will also pass only briefly over the hottest parts of the surface, limiting exposure to heat reradiated from the planet.

Background Info:

For information regarding the use of images, see the MESSENGER image use policy .

Cataloging Keywords:

Name Value Additional Values
Target Mercury Earth, Sun
System Mercury Earth
Target Type Earth Planet, Sun
Mission MESSENGER
Instrument Host MESSENGER
Host Type Orbiter
Instrument
Detector
Extra Keywords Artwork, Color
Acquisition Date
Release Date 2011-03-02
Date in Caption 2004-08-03
Image Credit NASA/Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory/Carnegie Institution of Washington
Source photojournal.jpl.nasa.gov/catalog/PIA18145
Identifier PIA18145