Mercury Messenger NASA Info

In 1998, a study detailed a proposed mission to send an orbiting spacecraft to Mercury, as the planet was at that point the least-explored of the inner planets. In the years following the Mariner 10 mission, subsequent mission proposals to revisit Mercury had appeared too costly, requiring large quantities of propellant and a heavy lift launch vehicle. Moreover, inserting a spacecraft into orbit around Mercury is difficult, because a probe approaching on a direct path from Earth would be accelerated by the Sun’s gravity and pass Mercury far too quickly to orbit it. However, using a trajectory designed by Chen-wan Yen in 1985, the study showed it was possible to seek a Discovery-class mission by using multiple, consecutive gravity assist, ‘swingby’ maneuvers around Venus and Mercury, in combination with minor propulsive trajectory corrections, to gradually slow the spacecraft and thereby minimize propellant needs.



The full moon night could be the night lovers would give their all to meet. We find in a wide collection of books how young lovers wait with longing for the full moon night. It is as if the night is tailor-made for their passions to flow unrestrained, spontaneous. The author need not delve more into descriptions of any nature to create the perfect ambience if he mentions that it is a full-moon night. The reader knows by instinct and his study of related literature and art to tell what is about to follow. There are over 100 moons dancing around the eight major planets of our Sun's family. Most of them are small, frozen, icy objects, harboring only a relatively scanty amount of rocky material, that circle around the quartet of giant gaseous planets that dwell in the outer, frigid realm of our Solar System--far from the comforting warmth and brilliance of our Star. The quartet of majestic, giant denizens of our outer Solar System--Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune--are enveloped with gaseous atmospheres, and orbited by a multitude of dancing, sparkling moons and moonlets. In marked contrast, the inner region of our Solar System--where our Earth dwells--is almost bereft of moons. Of the quartet of relatively petite, rocky "terrestrial" planets--Mercury, Venus, Earth, and Mars--only Earth is circled by a large Moon. Mercury and Venus are moonless, and Mars is orbited by a duo of tiny, lumpy, potato-shaped moons, Phobos and Deimos. Phobos and Deimos are probably escaped asteroids, born in the Main Asteroid Belt between Mars and Jupiter, that were captured by the gravitational embrace of the Red Planet long ago. The New Moon. The New Moon is of more subtle nature. When this Moon touches the Sun she doesn't reflect any light. The New Moon is invisible to our eyes. The light of consciousness is gone for a short period of time and with it the self perception and self awareness. This moment signifies a clean slate, a new beginning into the next round of the Moon circling the Sun, the center of our universe representing the highest consciousness and life giving force for all the inhabitants of our earth.