Goodbye MESSENGER

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The MESSENGER spacecraft impacted the surface of Mercury and ended its mission on Friday 30 April 2015.

Launch Date: Tuesday, 03 August, 2004
Launch Time: 2:15:56.537 a.m. EDT
Location: Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Fla.

Orbital insertion: March 18, 2011 becoming the first spacecraft to orbit Mercury.

Spacecraft impact with Mercury: 15:26 EDT, Friday 30 April, 2015 (predicted time)

The image above depicts the predicted impact site on a topographically color-coded map of the Mercury surface. The tallest areas are colored red and are about 3 km / 1.9 miles higher than the blue areas showing low-lying areas for example: crater floors.

There is a new crater on Mercury, MESSENGER crater (not the official name just my thought) is estimated to be 16 meters / 53 feet in diameter as it impacted at 3.91 km/sec / 8,700 miles per hour.

The large, 400-kilometer-diameter (250-mile-diameter), impact basin Shakespeare occupies the bottom left quarter of this image. Shakespeare is filled with smooth plains material, likely due to extensive lava flooding the basin in the past. As of 24 hours before the impact, the current best estimates predict that the spacecraft will strike a ridge slightly to the northeast of Shakespeare. – NASA

Click here to see the elevation profile provided by NASA

Credit: NASA/Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory/Carnegie Institution of Washington

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