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MESSENGER Scientists 'Astonished' to Find Water in Mercury's Thin Atmosphere

Emily Lakdawalla • July 03, 2008

As MESSENGER flew past the night side of Mercury in January, its Fast Imaging Plasma Spectrometer (FIPS) scooped up ions from an atmosphere so tenuous that it's usually called an "exosphere."

MESSENGER's First Mercury Flyby Reveals a "Whole New Planet"

Emily Lakdawalla • January 30, 2008

Just two weeks after MESSENGER's first flyby of Mercury, the mission's science team presented their first impressions from the long-awaited second look at the innermost planet.

MESSENGER's First Mercury Flyby Highly Successful

Emily Lakdawalla • January 18, 2008

On the evening of Tuesday, January 15, the MESSENGER science team crowded around a computer screen, anxiously awaiting their first view of the previously unseen hemisphere of Mercury.

MESSENGER Set for First Spacecraft Swing Past Mercury in 33 Years

Emily Lakdawalla • January 10, 2008

Mercury scientists' very long wait for new data from a spacecraft at Mercury will finally come to an end on Monday, when MESSENGER makes its first close approach to the innermost planet.

Flyby of Venus Speeds MESSENGER Onward to Mercury

Emily Lakdawalla • June 05, 2007

The MESSENGER spacecraft is zeroing in on Venus for the most significant gravity assist maneuver of its long journey to Mercury.

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