Message From Mercury

Credit: NASA / JHUAPL / Carnegie Institution of Washington

Via The Planetary Society Blog

This is MESSENGER’s very first photo from Mercury orbit, a wide-angle view that reaches right to Mercury’s south pole, exposing a very tiny sliver of territory not previously seen by spacecraft. It was taken at 09:20 UTC today, March 29, 2011, the first in a set of 363 that formed MESSENGER’s first downlink of orbital images, the first downlink of very many. This particular image is not necessarily any more important than any other image; its importance lies in the fact that it was taken and downlinked right on schedule, indicating the spacecraft is performing exactly as planned.

 

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