Teleconferenza per il primo flyby mercuriano di MESSENGER

Jan. 7, 2008

Dwayne Brown
Headquarters, Washington

Paulette Campbell
Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory, Laurel, Md.



WASHINGTON - NASA will host a media teleconference at 1 p.m. EST on
Thursday, Jan. 10, to preview the historic Jan. 14 spacecraft flight
past Mercury that will explore some of the last major
never-seen-before terrain in the inner solar system.

NASA’s MErcury Surface, Space ENvironment, GEochemistry, and Ranging
(MESSENGER) is the first mission sent to orbit the planet closest to
the sun. It will use Mercury’s gravity for a critical assist needed
to keep the spacecraft on track for its orbit insertion around the
planet three years from now. During this month’s Mercury pass the
probe’s cameras and other sophisticated, high-technology instruments
will take unprecedented images and make the first up-close
measurements of the planet since Mariner 10’s third and final flyby
on March 16, 1975. The flyby also will gather essential data for
planning the overall mission. MESSENGER was launched on Aug. 3, 2004.
After flybys of Earth, Venus, and Mercury, it will start a year-long
orbital study of Mercury in March 2011.

Briefing participants:

  • Marilyn Lindstrom, MESSENGER program scientist, NASA Headquarters,
  • Sean Solomon, MESSENGER principal investigator, Carnegie Institution
    of Washington
  • Eric Finnegan, MESSENGER mission systems engineer, Johns Hopkins
    University Applied Physics Laboratory, Laurel, Md.
  • Faith Vilas, MESSENGER participating scientist and director, MMT
    Observatory at Mt. Hopkins, Ariz.

To participate in the teleconference, reporters should call
1-888-398-6118 and use the pass code “Mercury.” International
journalists should call 1-210-234-0013. Audio of the teleconference
also will be streamed live at:

Related images about the MESSENGER mission and flyby will be available
on the Web at: