NASA launched a spacecraft to Mercury

04.08.2004

04.08.2004


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After a one-day delay caused by bad weather, a research probe Messenger successfully launched to the hottest planet in the solar system.

Before the ship reaches the goal, it is a complex trajectory will fly past Earth twice — past Venus and three — by the very Mercury.

This flight will leave the probe in seven years.

In March 2011, it will orbit around Mercury and start finding mission, which will last one year.

Project Messenger — the first American in 30 years to the first flight, counting from the Sun, the planet of our system.

Before that there was Mariner 10, who visited the vicinity of Mercury in 1973 and managed to capture only 45% of its surface.

Mercury — one of the least studied of the planets. Seven scientific instruments to probe Messenger will supplement significantly knowledge about Mercury — its geology and chemistry, features of the core and may answer some questions.

For example, why Mercury's density is high (two-thirds of it consists of iron), why only he and the Earth, the inner planets of the system — there is a global magnetic field.

In addition, terrestrial radio telescopes found in deep craters at the poles of the planet's spectral signature of ice. Given that the surface temperature on the equator, for example, up to 450 degrees Celsius.

The ship will have to confirm or refute this finding. According to some assumptions, it is not water ice, and the so-called superzamorozhenny quartz or something else unknown to us.

In order to probe the equipment could work normally near a hot planet and the Sun, which shines there is 11 times brighter than Earth, the ship is equipped with a solar shield made of a ceramic material.

It is interesting that the name of the ship — Messenger (Messenger), it is actually an abbreviation meaning Mercury surface, space environment, geochemistry, and systematization (Mercury Surface, Space Environment, Geochemistry and Ranging).

03.08.2004

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