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Mercury Orbit Insertion, Events and Discussion leading up to MOI
Greg Hullender
post Mar 18 2010, 05:38 PM
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A new post from the Messenger team, noting that we are exactly one year away from MOI!

http://messenger.jhuapl.edu/news_room/details.php?id=144

--Greg
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Explorer1
post Mar 18 2010, 07:41 PM
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And a new map of some of the newly named craters too:
http://messenger.jhuapl.edu/gallery/scienc...mp;image_id=377
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MarkG
post Apr 6 2010, 05:39 PM
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Over the next few months, Mercury will appear to go back-and-forth relative to the sun as seen from Messenger, as the planet and probe travel their elliptical orbits, with Mercury slowly lapping Messenger. The back-and-forth-relative-to-the-sun motion marks the dynamics of passing through the halfway period of the "lapping", with Messenger doing 5 orbits to Mercury's 6, between the third flyby and orbit insertion. Just a chance for some Keplerian visualization cheap thrills...
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infocat13
post Apr 7 2010, 05:50 PM
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QUOTE (scalbers @ Dec 5 2009, 08:40 PM) *
A quick read tells me the perihelion option would save propellant during the initial insertion, however the inclination wouldn't have been too favorable, and more flybys would have been needed, so they chose another option. By the way I like the term "periherm".




burn less fuel = extended mission! smile.gifsmile.gif
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ElkGroveDan
post Apr 7 2010, 05:54 PM
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I'd love it if someone could locate (or create) an animation or video of Messenger's orbit insertion process since launch so I could wrap my brain around it all. So far I haven't had any luck tracking one down on my own.


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djellison
post Apr 7 2010, 06:21 PM
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http://messenger.jhuapl.edu/the_mission/mo...andtimeline.mov

From
http://messenger.jhuapl.edu/the_mission/ani.html
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MarkG
post Jun 25 2010, 02:31 PM
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Mercury is about to pass behind the Sun in its pursuit of Messenger at the halfway point between the 3rd flyby and orbit insertion. Mercury is at periapsis and Messenger at apoapsis. Go Messenger!
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ElkGroveDan
post Jun 25 2010, 03:49 PM
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If it is the planet pursuing the craft, shouldn't it be "Go Mercury" ?


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MarkG
post Jun 27 2010, 01:29 AM
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QUOTE (ElkGroveDan @ Jun 25 2010, 08:49 AM) *
If it is the planet pursuing the craft, shouldn't it be "Go Mercury" ?

...well, my odds of successfully urging a spacecraft are far better than successfully urging an entire planet...
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Greg Hullender
post Aug 4 2010, 03:47 PM
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Yesterday was the sixth anniversary of Messenger's launch, but the Messenger web site didn't comment on it. I suppose they're far more interested in getting ready for their big day in March.

On the trivia front, I'm figuring Messenger will be two orbits away from MOI on August 10 (next week) and it'll be just one orbit away on November 23, which is roughly American Thanksgiving (Nov 25th this year to be exact.)

Disclaimer: My method is apt to have a few days of error at this point, so don't use these figures to pilot your own spacecraft!

--Greg
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stevesliva
post Aug 12 2010, 09:48 PM
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Still looking for Vulcanoids. From Twitter:
@MESSENGER2011: 4-part vulcanoid survey will be conducted from 8/14-17. Long-exposure images from MDIS in search of obj existing w/i the orbit of Mercury.
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MarkG
post Nov 19 2010, 07:47 AM
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Messenger is pulling away from Mercury for the last time. As Messenger approaches perihelion, Mercury is just past aphelion, so it will pull father away for a little while. But soon after Messenger passes perihelion and begins its last solar orbit before insertion, Mercury will close the gap, and the following perihelion will be orbit insertion around Mercury.

Any results in the Vulcanoid search? Will there be another round of searching during this last independent perihelion?
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peter59
post Dec 7 2010, 10:47 AM
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100 days before orbit insertion !
Attached Image

I hope that it will be without such problems as case of Akatsuki.


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peter59
post Dec 19 2010, 09:37 AM
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One Year until Mercury Orbit Insertion !
Relax, Mercurian year.


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tasp
post Dec 19 2010, 04:14 PM
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It's just amazing they racked up over 4 billion(!) miles on the odometer so quickly. New Horizons seems screaming fast, but Messenger could blow it's doors off!

(Yeah, I know we are just seeing the effects of the sun's gravitational well, but still)


Even more amazing when you consider all the flybys of Venus and Mercury were to slow the craft. I recall the Mercury and Gemini astronauts were trained in orbital mechanics by having them drive in circles of differing sizes at differing speeds to impress upon them how it all works.
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