MESSENGER

Author(s): toutatis

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MESSENGER was a NASA space probe with the aim of studying the planet Mercury. Launched on August 3, 2004, it passed once by Earth, twice by Venus and three times by Mercury before entering Mercury's orbit in March 18, 2011. MESSENGER studied and photographed Mercury until April 30, 2015, when its fuel ran out and the probe crashed into the planet's surface.

MESSENGER being prepared for launch, 2004

MESSENGER launch aboard the Delta II rocket, August 3, 2004

Earth photographed by MESSENGER during flyby in August 2005

Venus photographed by MESSENGER during its second flyby of the planet, 2007

Mercury photographed by MESSENGER during its second flyby of the planet in October 2008

First photo of Mercury taken after successful orbital insertion, March 2011

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