Monday, October 06, 2008

Mercury fly-by

If all went well, the Messenger spacecraft is 50 minutes past closest approach of its second flyby, and is currently 20,000 km above the fastest planet and receding rapidly. The spacecraft has turned away from Earth to perform its mission, so it will be another 19 hours before contact with the spacecraft is regained. I wonder if anyone on the mission will manage to get any sleep during that time. Here is the penultimate approach picture taken before the spacecraft turned away:

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