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Mercury Orbit Insertion, Events and Discussion leading up to MOI
MarkG
post Jan 25 2011, 02:18 PM
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Messenger is at its last Aphelion before capture into Mercury orbit. Cool (well, as cool as it will ever again get, unless it goes into Mercury's shadow....)
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Phil Stooke
post Jan 25 2011, 09:35 PM
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35 million km away... I wonder if there will be any good approach imaging?

Phil


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MarkG
post Feb 22 2011, 12:00 AM
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At Messenger's current distance from Mercury, a sharp-eyed human observer would be able to make out the tiny crescent shape. It won't be long now. Will any navigation images be released, I wonder?
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jasedm
post Feb 22 2011, 09:03 AM
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A little over three weeks to go! - have been genning-up on the upcoming orbit insertion and the mission generally - very much looking forward to results from the mission (especially the data on any volatiles at the poles)

The orbit insertion is unusual I believe; in that the burn and turns will be 'line of sight' from earth throughout, so no nail-biting, peanut-eating occultation phase whilst we wait for re-acquisition of signal to confirm whether insertion went as planned. Four DSN stations will be tracking, with a fifth as backup during OI. Full information at the official site here

Astonishing that the spacecraft has travelled 4.8 billion miles already - enough to take it well past Pluto's orbit had it been heading outwards from the sun.

We've been spoiled by having unfettered access to all the raw images from the MER's and Cassini as soon as they're available, but I understand this won't be the case with Messenger, so we'll have to be patient with image releases as this mission unfolds...

Incidentally, if all goes to plan, by August this year there will be amazingly, functioning spacecraft in orbit at :

Mercury (1)
Venus (1)
Earth (dozens)
Moon (2)
Mars (3) +2 on the surface
Vesta (1)
Saturn (1)

Very lucky to be living through this era.


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stevesliva
post Feb 22 2011, 04:33 PM
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Come on, Juno, you're late. wink.gif
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jabe
post Feb 23 2011, 09:16 PM
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Been trying to find what the Delta-V is for the burn? Going to be neat to see the burn in "real time" watching the progress of the burn for a change.
jb
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B Bernatchez
post Feb 23 2011, 11:07 PM
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QUOTE (jabe @ Feb 23 2011, 04:16 PM) *
Been trying to find what the Delta-V is for the burn? Going to be neat to see the burn in "real time" watching the progress of the burn for a change.
jb


According to this website: http://messenger.jhuapl.edu/orbit_insertio...tionkeeping.htm, "MESSENGER's thrusters must slow the spacecraft by just over 0.86 kilometers (0.53 miles) per second."
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climber
post Feb 24 2011, 12:28 AM
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QUOTE (stevesliva @ Feb 22 2011, 05:33 PM) *
Come on, Juno, you're late. wink.gif

And Voyager's?...probably out of this world rolleyes.gif


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machi
post Feb 24 2011, 11:31 AM
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QUOTE (climber @ Feb 24 2011, 01:28 AM) *
And Voyager's?...probably out of this world rolleyes.gif


Maybe this way:

Functioning spacecraft in orbit (VIII.2011) at:

Mercury (1)
Venus (1)
Earth (legions)
Moon (2)
Mars (3) +2? on the surface
Vesta (1)
Saturn (1)
Sun (several (>7))
Milky Way's central BH (3)


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ElkGroveDan
post Feb 24 2011, 02:11 PM
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QUOTE (machi @ Feb 24 2011, 03:31 AM) *
Functioning spacecraft in orbit (VIII.2011) at:
...
Earth (dozens)
...

I believe the number is in the thousands, somewhere around 3,000 functioning satellites in orbit.


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If Occam had heard my theory, things would be very different now.
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machi
post Feb 24 2011, 02:13 PM
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Updated smile.gif


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jabe
post Feb 24 2011, 07:43 PM
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QUOTE (B Bernatchez @ Feb 23 2011, 11:07 PM) *
According to this website: http://messenger.jhuapl.edu/orbit_insertio...tionkeeping.htm, "MESSENGER's thrusters must slow the spacecraft by just over 0.86 kilometers (0.53 miles) per second."


ok..I was blind...no idea how i missed that.... thanks for the link
jb
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SolarSystemRubbl...
post Mar 7 2011, 02:53 AM
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Quiet here in this thread, less that 2 weeks from orbital insertion!!

Wayne
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Astro0
post Mar 7 2011, 02:58 AM
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Everyone's just cruisin' I guess! smile.gif
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nprev
post Mar 7 2011, 04:55 AM
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smile.gif

No news is good news now. I expect the future Messenger main mission thread(s) to get very busy indeed, though...Mercury is not as simple as it seems.

(Disclaimer: no inside knowledge claimed, just a very confident prediction. We've consistently found that upon close enough examination no Solar System body is merely a nondescript rock...in itself, one of the most profound revelations of UMSF.)


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A few will take this knowledge and use this power of a dream realized as a force for change, an impetus for further discovery to make less ancient dreams real.
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