Help Shape the Future of Space Exploration

Join The Planetary Society Now  arrow.png

Join our eNewsletter for updates & action alerts

    Please leave this field empty
Blogs

Headshot of Emily Lakdawalla

MESSENGER's first big deep space maneuver was successful

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla

12-12-2005 12:58 CST

Topics: mission status, MESSENGER

The Applied Physics Laboratory announced today that MESSENGER's first "Deep Space Maneuver" was successful, putting the Mercury orbiter on track for an October 24, 2006 flyby of Venus. MESSENGER still has a very long way to go to get to Mercury (here's a timeline), but this successful engine burn is a big deal because it's the first time its large thruster has been fired since the launch.

The maneuver used up 18 percent of MESSENGER's fuel in a 524-second burn -- second only to the Mercury orbit insertion burn in magnitude. It changed MESSENGER's speed by 316 meters per second. The MESSENGER website has a nifty backgrounder explaining how each of the flybys and deep space maneuvers contributes to making the changes to the geometry of MESSENGER's Sun-centered orbit that are necessary to position it for Mercury orbit insertion.

 
See other posts from December 2005

 

Or read more blog entries about: mission status, MESSENGER

Comments:

Leave a Comment:

You must be logged in to submit a comment. Log in now.
Facebook Twitter Email RSS AddThis

Blog Search

Planetary Defense

An asteroid or comet headed for Earth is the only large-scale natural disaster we can prevent. Working together to fund our Shoemaker NEO Grants for astronomers, we can help save the world.

Donate

Featured Images

Falcon 9 and Dragon at pad 39A
Apollo 11 liftoff from pad 39A
SpaceX damaged pad SLC-40
SpaceX pad 39A
More Images

Featured Video

Intro Astronomy 2017. Class 4: Moon, Mercury, Venus-Earth-Mars Atmospheres

Watch Now

Space in Images

Pretty pictures and
awe-inspiring science.

See More

Join The Planetary Society

Let’s explore the cosmos together!

Become a Member

Connect With Us

Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and more…
Continue the conversation with our online community!