PIA19434: Delaying the Inevitable

Delaying the Inevitable


At approximately 1.1 meters/pixel, this image is among the highest-resolution views MESSENGER has ever taken of the surface of Mercury. The final orbital correction maneuver (OCM) of the mission is planned for today, raising the periapsis from approximately 8 to 19 km (5 to 12 miles) and delaying the spacecraft's inevitable crash for one more week.

Date acquired: April 23, 2015
Image Mission Elapsed Time (MET): 72114468
Image ID: 8382023
Instrument: Narrow Angle Camera (NAC) of the Mercury Dual Imaging System (MDIS)
Center Latitude: 49.26°
Center Longitude: 253.44° E
Resolution: 1.1 meters/pixel
Scale: This scene is approximately 560 meters (~1837 feet) across.

Background Info:

The MESSENGER spacecraft is the first ever to orbit the planet Mercury, and the spacecraft's seven scientific instruments and radio science investigation are unraveling the history and evolution of the Solar System's innermost planet. In the mission's more than four years of orbital operations, MESSENGER has acquired over 250,000 images and extensive other data sets. MESSENGER's highly successful orbital mission is about to come to an end , as the spacecraft runs out of propellant and the force of solar gravity causes it to impact the surface of Mercury in April 2015.

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

Cataloging Keywords:

Name Value Additional Values
Target Mercury
Target Type Planet
Instrument Host MESSENGER
Host Type Orbiter
Instrument Mercury Dual Imaging System (MDIS)
Detector Narrow Angle Camera (NAC)
Extra Keywords Grayscale, Impact, Radio
Acquisition Date
Release Date 2015-04-24
Date in Caption 2015-04-23
Image Credit NASA/Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory/Carnegie Institution of Washington
Source photojournal.jpl.nasa.gov/catalog/PIA19434
Identifier PIA19434