LightSail-A has successfully launched!

Track the Mission

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 signal has been reacquired!

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla

14-01-2008 12:45 CST

Topics:

I just managed to get a phone call in to someone at MESSENGER's Science Operations Center and MESSENGER has been heard from, post-occultation; they've reacquired the signal from the spacecraft, they "saw the Doppler" (meaning they're tracking it and it's where they expected to be, at the speed they expected it to be at) and "We think we're in good shape." There's no possibility of information yet on the science data from the flyby -- with MESSENGER still well in to its science timeline there's no possibility of telemetry from the spacecraft, we're only hearing a beacon tone broadcast from its low-gain antenna to indicate that the spacecraft is still alive -- but the primary goal of the first Mercury flyby has been accomplished: to drop MESSENGER into a lower orbit, reducing its speed and its orbital period, setting it up for the next flyby in October and eventually to its 2011 entry into orbit.

Onward, MESSENGER!

For those of you reading right now, you can still follow the science observations in real time here...

MESSENGER approaches Mercury

NASA / JHUAPL / CIW / animation by Emily Lakdawalla

MESSENGER approaches Mercury
The nine images in this animation were taken for optical navigation purposes as MESSENGER approached its first flyby of Mercury. The first and last images were taken on January 9 at 11:08 UTC and January 13 at 06:34. The ntervening images were taken twice a day at 09:06 and 21:06. At first, few details are visible, but as Mercury grows larger, more and more craters and surface features are revealed.

 
See other posts from January 2008

 

Or read more blog entries about:

Comments:

Leave a Comment:

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

Blog Search

LightSail - Kickstarter

Support LightSail!

The excitement is building! LightSail is counting down to our test launch, set for May 20—and you’re invited.

I want to help!

Featured Images

51 views of Ceres, Dawn Rotation Characterization 3, May 4, 2015
Crescent Ceres, April 30, 2015
Ceres' full rotation, Dawn Rotation Characterization 3, May 4, 2015
Morrell Operations Center
More Images

Featured Video

Solar Sailing

Watch Now

Selfies to Space!

Take flight with a selfie on LightSail™ in 2016!

Send a Selfie Now

Join the New Millennium Committee

Let’s invent the future together!

Become a Member

Connect With Us

Facebook! Twitter! Google+ and more…
Continue the conversation with our online community!