Message from the innermost planet
The MESSENGER spacecraft flew past Mercury January 14, giving scientists their first close-up view of the planet in 33 years.
March 19, 2008
|Since its launch in August 2004, the MESSENGER spacecraft has traveled 2.40 billion miles (3.85 billion kilometers). That's the mileage as of March 19, although it grows about 18 miles (29 km) every second. Back on January 14, the probe had traversed merely 2.23 billion miles (3.59 billion km) — just enough to get it to Mercury. It marked the first flyby of the innermost planet since Mariner 10 skimmed past for its third and final time in 1975.|
You are currently not logged in. This article is only available to Astronomy magazine subscribers.
Already a subscriber to Astronomy magazine?
If you are already a subscriber to Astronomy magazine you must log into your account to view this article. If you do not have an account you will
need to regsiter for one. Registration is FREE and only takes a couple minutes.
Non-subscribers, Subscribe TODAY and save!
Get instant access to subscriber content on Astronomy.com!
- Access our interactive Atlas of the Stars
- Get full access to StarDome PLUS
- Columnist articles
- Search and view our equipment review archive
- Receive full access to our Ask Astro answers
- BONUS web extras not included in the magazine
- Much more!