NASA's Messenger probe, the first spacecraft ever to orbit Mercury, has already taken more than 20,000 images.
NASA's Messenger craft has been orbiting Mercury for 88 days. Among its findings: a Saturn-like magnetic field, high concentrations of sulfur, and some support for the notion there is water ice in shadowed craters.
Mercury had been excluded from the travels of instrument-loaded orbiters because of the difficulty of the mission – until now. On Thursday, the NASA MESSENGER started orbiting the planet.
After a journey of 6 1/2 years, nearly 15 laps around the sun, NASA's Messenger spacecraft will perform its orbital insertion maneuver on Thursday, becoming the first spacecraft to enter Mercury's orbit.
The Meteoritical Society meets this week in New York to discuss all things space rock.
Mercury, the oddest of the rocky planets, has been little understood by scientists. But on a swing by the planet, NASA's Messenger sent back intriguing data about Mercury's surface minerals and volcanic activity.
New data from NASA’S MESSENGER spacecraft suggests Mercury was shaped by volcanism.
In the first flyby of Mercury in 33 years, the NASA spacecraft captured thrilling new details about the little-known planet.
Monday's flyby, the first visit in 33 years, is expected to render new images and data that can shed light on the origins of the solar system.