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The Bruce Murray Space Image Library

MESSENGER's journey to Mercury

Filed under pretty pictures, Mercury, MESSENGER, trajectory diagrams, animation

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MESSENGER's trip to Mercury requires a total of six gravity assists (one of Earth, two of Venus, and three of Mercury) to permit it to enter orbit at the small planet close to the Sun. This animation shows that journey and the motions of Venus and Mercury using a frame of reference that holds the Earth-Sun line fixed.

NASA / JHUAPL / Carnegie Institution of Washington

Most NASA images are in the public domain. Reuse of this image is governed by NASA's image use policy.


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