Messenger Spacecraft Completes Mission, Crash-Lands Into Mercury; Andy Calloway Comments

NASA MESSENGERNASA’s MErcury Surface, Space ENvironment, GEochemistry and Ranging spacecraft crashed into the planet Mercury’s surface on April 30 as planned, marking the completion of its four-year mission orbiting the planet.

NASA said Friday the impact, estimated to have created a crater up to 50 feet wide on the planet’s surface, was confirmed by mission controllers at the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory after the agency’s Deep Space Network station in Goldstone, California, detected a loss in signal.

“We monitored Messengerr’s beacon signal for about 20 additional minutes,” said Andy Calloway, mission operations manager at APL.

“It was strange to think during that time Messenger had already impacted, but we could not confirm it immediately due to the vast distance across space between Mercury and Earth.”

Just before the spacecraft ran out of fuel, the APL team carried out orbit correction maneuvers that enabled Messenger’s equipment to collect data about Mercury’s polar craters and magnetic anomalies on the planet’s crust.

The APL-built Messenger launched in 2004 and traveled for more than six years before entering Mercury’s orbit in 2011.

Discoveries of the spacecraft’s mission include information on the planet’s geological history, polar deposits, internal magnetic field and surface composition.

John Grunsfeld, associate administrator for NASA’s Science Mission Directorate, said scientists at the agency will continue to evaluate the data available in the archives and figure out the planet’s mysteries.

Check Also

Smartsheet

Smartsheet Collaboration Platform Gets DISA Provisional Authorization at Impact Level 4

The Defense Information Systems Agency has granted Smartsheet provisional authorization for the company's collaborative work management platform to support at impact level 4 data in a cloud computing environment.

stock trading

Report: Public Exchange Sets $7.25 as Palantir Reference Price via Direct Listing

Denver-based software company Palantir Technologies is scheduled to debut Wednesday on the New York Stock Exchange through direct listing and NSYE said the company’s listing will have a reference price of $7.25 a share, CNBC reported Tuesday.

John Mengucci CEO CACI International

CACI Gets $59M Task Order to Continue DoD Financial System Support; John Mengucci Quoted

CACI International will continue to help the Department of Defense's comptroller office manage, secure and maintain financial systems under a potential $59M task order. “CACI looks forward to providing DoD budget expertise and technology to the Office of the Under Secretary of Defense with comprehensive support in modernizing and maintaining our customer’s critical mission systems," said John Mengucci, president and CEO of CACI and a 2020 Wash 100 awardee.