Artificial Satellite Of Mercury

Table of contents:

Artificial Satellite Of Mercury
Artificial Satellite Of Mercury

Mercury is the smallest planet in the solar system, located closest to its center. Scientists have long sought to get to know Mercury better. But it became possible to learn about its features only after the launch of the NASA device called Messenger. This probe became the first artificial satellite of Mercury.

Artificial satellite of Mercury
Artificial satellite of Mercury

Messenger: planet earth messenger

The Messenger interplanetary probe was launched in early August 2004 from Cape Canaveral by American specialists. The name of the device is translated from English as "messenger". This name perfectly reflects the mission of the probe, which was to reach the planet Mercury, remote from Earth, and collect data of interest to scientists. The unique flight of the spacecraft attracted the attention of many researchers, eagerly awaiting the first results from Mercury.

The journey of the messenger of the Earth lasted almost seven years. During this time, the device flew more than 7 billion kilometers, since it had to perform a number of gravitational maneuvers, slipping between the fields of the Earth, Venus and Mercury itself. The voyage of an artificial vehicle turned out to be one of the most difficult missions in the history of space exploration.

In March 2011, several calculated rendezvous of the probe with Mercury took place, during which Messenger corrected its orbit and turned on a fuel saving program. When the maneuvers were completed, the probe actually turned out to be an artificial satellite of Mercury, revolving around the planet in an optimal orbit. The messenger from Earth began the main part of his mission.

Artificial satellite of Mercury on the space watch

As an artificial satellite of Mercury, the Messenger probe worked until mid-March 2013, circling the surface at an altitude of about 200 km. During its stay near the planet, the probe collected and transmitted to Earth a lot of useful information. Much of the data was so unusual that it changed the usual understanding of scientists about the features of Mercury.

Today it became known that in ancient times there were volcanoes on Mercury, and the geological composition of the planet is complex and diverse. The core of Mercury is made of molten metal. There is also a magnetic field, which, however, behaves rather strangely. It is still difficult for specialists to draw accurate conclusions about the presence of an atmosphere on the planet and its possible composition. This will require additional research.

An additional bonus in the treasury of scientists was a unique "photo portrait" of the solar system, which was made by the first artificial satellite of Mercury. The photo captures almost all the planets in the solar system, with the exception of Uranus and Neptune. Having completed its scientific mission in 2013, the NASA probe made an invaluable contribution to the development of ideas about the space objects closest to Earth.

Popular by topic