As 2010 comes to a close, the MESSENGER spacecraft is less than three months from becoming the first ever to enter orbit about Mercury. The coming year 2011 promises to be a historic one for the MESSENGER mission and for the exploration of the Solar System more generally. As we await turning the page on the calendar, let's look back at 12 image highlights from this year:
These images are from MESSENGER, a NASA Discovery mission to conduct the first orbital study of the innermost planet, Mercury. For information regarding the use of images, see the MESSENGER image use policy.