PIA18145: MESSENGER at Mercury (Artist's Concept)
Target Name: Mercury
Mission: MESSENGER
Spacecraft: MESSENGER
Product Size: 2130 x 1739 pixels (width x height)
Produced By: Johns Hopkins University/APL
Other Information: More artist's impressions from MESSENGER
Full-Res TIFF: PIA18145.tif (11.12 MB)
Full-Res JPEG: PIA18145.jpg (324.1 kB)

Click on the image above to download a moderately sized image in JPEG format (possibly reduced in size from original)

Original Caption Released with Image:

Artist's impression of the MErcury Surface, Space ENvironment, GEochemistry, and Ranging (MESSENGER) spacecraft in orbit at Mercury. MESSENGER launched from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Fla., on Aug. 3, 2004, beginning a yearlong orbital study of Mercury in March 2011. Though the Sun is up to 11 times brighter at Mercury than we see on Earth and surface temperatures can reach 450 degrees Celsius (about 840 degrees Fahrenheit), MESSENGER's instruments will operate at room temperature behind a sunshade of heat-resistant ceramic fabric. The spacecraft will also pass only briefly over the hottest parts of the surface, limiting exposure to heat reradiated from the planet.

For information regarding the use of images, see the MESSENGER image use policy.

Image Credit:
NASA/Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory/Carnegie Institution of Washington

Image Addition Date:
2011-03-02