Nasa's Messenger Spacecraft Slams Into Mercury
Nasa's Messenger Spacecraft Slams Into Mercury
  • Lee Kyung-ho
  • 승인 2015.05.01 23:50
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The Boeing Delta II rocket launched NASA

NASA's Messenger spacecraft has slammed into the surface of the planet Mercury, ending a successful 11-year-mission.

The probe, the first ever to orbit Mercury, had run out of fuel and crashed into the planet's surface at a speed of 8,750 miles per hour.

The impact from the crash carved out an estimated 52ft-wide crater.

During its mission the spacecraft completed 4,104 orbits of Mercury and collected more than 277,000 images.

"A NASA planetary exploration mission came to a planned, but nonetheless dramatic, end Thursday when it slammed into Mercury's surface at about 8,750 miles per hour and created a new crater on the planet's surface," NASA said in a statement.

The space agency added that the mission, which began in 2004, had achieved "unprecedented success".

"Going out with a bang as it impacts the surface of Mercury, we are celebrating MESSENGER as more than a successful mission," said John Grunsfeld, associate administrator for NASA's Science Mission Directorate in Washington.

The surface of Mercury in a combination image released by NASA in April 2015. The space probe is expected to end its orbit and make a crash landing into the planet on 30 April

"The MESSENGER mission will continue to provide scientists with a bonanza of new results as we begin the next phase of this mission - analysing the exciting data already in the archives, and unravelling the mysteries of Mercury."


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