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Unmanned Spaceflight.com > Inner Solar System and the Sun > Mercury > Messenger
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Astro0
Less than 20 hours now until the MESSENGER spacecraft fires its engine to enter orbit at Mercury.

Live Webcast March 17th – broadcast starts at 0030 UTC.

Follow the progress: http://messenger.jhuapl.edu/mer_orbit.html.
There will be commentary on the mission, real-time coverage of the maneuver, animation of what the spacecraft is doing, a view of the carrier’s Doppler as they receive it, and live video from MESSENGER Mission Operations.

Remember that the Canberra DSN is providing two-way communication with MESSENGER smile.gif
We'll be using both DSS43 (70-metre) and DSS34 (34-metre) antennas.

Good luck to the team at Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory (APL).
nprev
Aim your dishes well, Astro0, and may no passing birds cause the loss of a single bit! tongue.gif

Very exciting time. "Firsts" just never get old. Best of luck to the entire Messenger team, including of course the FAR too-often unappreciated people who keep the DSN up & running!
Explorer1
Mercury is a disk already in the 'where is MESSENGER now' view. It's getting exciting already...
dmuller
7.9 billion kilometers just to get there. That makes it one of the longest distances flown by a spacecraft:
(http://www.dmuller.net/spaceflight/realstats.php?stats=flown).

Anyway, my standard realtime simulation is now updated for MOI:
http://www.dmuller.net/messenger
Sunspot
I can't get "Mars" Orbit Insertion (MOI) out of my head, rather than Mercury Orbit Insertion (MOI) !!!!
Decepticon
Is there a way to listen to MOI via my cell phone?

I would love to watch but I'm working at that time.

Audio would be great!

Any help?
akuo
Is it so that there is no following of the MOI on any Nasa-TV channels?

Answering my own post: looks like that the Nasa-TV schedule has been updated and Messenger will be followed on Nasa-TV from 19:55 ESST onwards:
7:55 p.m. - MESSENGER: Mercury Orbit Insertion Coverage from APL - APL/HQ (ALL Channels)
Gsnorgathon
Since this mission's run by JHUAPL and not JPL, do we still need to get our dry-roasted peanuts for MOI?
B Bernatchez
QUOTE (dmuller @ Mar 17 2011, 07:15 AM) *
7.9 billion kilometers just to get there. That makes it one of the longest distances flown by a spacecraft:
(http://www.dmuller.net/spaceflight/realstats.php?stats=flown).

Anyway, my standard realtime simulation is now updated for MOI:
http://www.dmuller.net/messenger


Shouldn't the last item on that list read "Start of first mission extension"?
djellison
It's in Eyes on the Solar System as well - complete with the change of attitude, and the engine burn smile.gif http://go.usa.gov/4u1

(shortcut works great in Firefox/Safari/IE - but there's a bug that we need to sort out about Chrome)
volcanopele
Good to know! I tried getting MESSENGER to work in Celestia with the spice kernels available from the PDS, but it keeps balking sad.gif
MahFL
Hello everyone.
Pretty exciting !
ZLD
QUOTE
It's in Eyes on the Solar System as well


Yes and Mercury is getting quite large on the screen. smile.gif Eyes On The Solar System is definitely a great tool!
MarkG
I like the Irish music in the background of some of the on-line presentations. Nice!

Being part of this exploration history never gets old...
Explorer1
Start of burn confirmed, looking at Doppler.
Bjorn Jonsson
"Thruster firing, everything looking just perfect"
Astro0
Gotta say that I'm enjoying the JHU/APL broadcast. Very slick. Live audience adds a nice element. smile.gif
DFinfrock
Emily has a great Twitter feed going, if you can't view the Webcast. Follow her at @elakdalla.

ADMIN: http://twitter.com/elakdawalla
Hungry4info
MESSENGER is in orbit of Mercury now.
Hungry4info
End of main burn, tweaking now.

Edit: Lots of clapping, handshakes, looks like everything went just perfectly! Waiting on data from spacecraft to confirm.

Edit2: High rate telemetry is being received. We know now the burn did last as long as expected.

Edit3: Official confirmation of successful MOI burn. Made the target to within 0.5-sigma.
belleraphon1
unmanned spacecraft in orbit.. firsts..

1966 Luna 10 Moon

1971 Mariner 9 Mars

1975 Venera 8 Venus Venera 9 was the first Venus orbiter. Venera 8 was a lander with a flyby bus.

1995 Galileo Jupiter

2004 Cassini Saturn

2011 Messenger Mercury

Lived through all of them.... HOW SWEET IT IS!

i ate peanuts

Congrats team!
pjam
Messenger is confirmed to be in orbit around Mercury -Hooray!! smile.gif
...Now the serious visit begins!
-pjam
belleraphon1
And... of course...

Sputnik 1957 Earth... the shot that started it all... yeah Earth is a planet.

Glorious 54 years... I was 4 that year.

Craig

tasp
Was super busy all day today, and just now came to this thread, and with a rising sense of anticipation, read all the posts.

Whew! And attaboys and 'ham sammiches' to everyone!


I did go out the other night to see Mercury and Jupiter after sunset, and was hoping all was well.
NMRguy
At long last, MESSENGER enters orbit! Congrats to the team and let the science begin (following check out, of course)!
Paolo
QUOTE (belleraphon1 @ Mar 18 2011, 02:59 AM) *
unmanned spacecraft in orbit.. firsts..


you forgot poor Eros...
Explorer1
And Itokawa! (if it counts as 'orbiting' at all....)
Paolo
Itokawa was too small. Hayabusa didn't do much orbiting, only station keeping in solar orbit
CAP-Team
Congrats! Great to hear that it worked!

@Volcanopele you can find good spice kernels on the NAIF FTP site in the PDS folder for use in Celestia, including the main mission period.
Stu
Fantastic news! And if you haven't seen it already, Emily has made an absolutely gorgeous pic for her blog, showing Mercury's size compared to other familiar bodies in the solar system...

http://www.planetary.org/blog/article/00002965

craigmcg
Nice article in the NY Times

http://www.nytimes.com/aponline/2011/03/17...rss&emc=rss
ngunn
QUOTE (Stu @ Mar 18 2011, 08:17 AM) *
Emily has made an absolutely gorgeous pic for her blog, showing Mercury's size compared to other familiar bodies in the solar system...


Indeed, a very nice comparison. But we already know of two other bodies in that size range, namely Pluto and Eris, making a total of 10.
Stu
True, but we haven't got very good images of those to use, tho.
belleraphon1
unmanned spacecraft in orbit...

how did I miss the worldlets????? Eros and possibly Itokawa.... must be my age... and the beer.
Thanks for the corrections folks.

The Eyes on the Solar System site had a terrific simulation.... really felt like I was riding along as I listened to the webcast.
Terrific experience...

Kudos all .....

Craig
brellis
Emily's survey is great! I felt proud to recognize each orb, like a bunch of old friends. smile.gif
ElkGroveDan
QUOTE (brellis @ Mar 18 2011, 05:07 AM) *
like a bunch of old friends. smile.gif

I used to have friends like that; remote, lonely, frigid, two-faced, endlessly going in circles, still showing the obvious scars that impacted them long ago. Sure there was always at least one hot one, but she'd usually be prone to eruptions. Since then I found UMSF and a whole new universe of friends.
Stu
laugh.gif laugh.gif
machi
Congratulation to the MESSENGER team! rolleyes.gif

QUOTE (ElkGroveDan @ Mar 18 2011, 02:58 PM) *
I used to have friends like that; remote, lonely, frigid, two-faced, endlessly going in circles, still showing the obvious scars that impacted them long ago. Sure there was always at least one hot one, but she'd usually be prone to eruptions. Since then I found UMSF and a whole new universe of friends.


laugh.gif
Stu
VERY proud that the MESSENGER team used a new poem I wrote for them, marking MOI...

http://messenger.jhuapl.edu/mer_orbit.html

(bottom right)

smile.gif
gndonald
Congratulations to NASA!

I'm eagerly awaiting the first light photo from orbit...
elakdawalla
QUOTE (Stu @ Mar 18 2011, 12:17 AM) *
Fantastic news! And if you haven't seen it already, Emily has made an absolutely gorgeous pic for her blog, showing Mercury's size compared to other familiar bodies in the solar system...
http://www.planetary.org/blog/article/00002965

I'm glad you liked that; I'm pleased with how it turned out, though of course it looks good mostly because of Ted's excellent processing work. It's wonderful what matching phase angles and lighting directions will do to improve the feel of a montage. I spent half an hour discussing that image with my girls' babysitter last night -- a fun conversation smile.gif

QUOTE (ngunn @ Mar 18 2011, 01:36 AM) *
Indeed, a very nice comparison. But we already know of two other bodies in that size range, namely Pluto and Eris, making a total of 10.

As Stu said, we don't have images of those! --but in the text and caption I did make an error about how these were all the things in the solar system between 2000 and 6000 km across -- should've stuck with 2500-6000 and I'd've been correct; or just left Triton off and left it at 3000-6000. I have a massive cheat sheet above my desk that I use to do quick size comparisons, but I don't have the KBOs on there yet because I'm still working on hunting down the best estimates of their sizes. I have got to finish that project.

QUOTE (brellis @ Mar 18 2011, 05:07 AM) *
Emily's survey is great! I felt proud to recognize each orb, like a bunch of old friends. smile.gif

Me too smile.gif The challenge for us uber-geeks is to know just from looking at them which spacecraft was responsible for each image.
tedstryk
QUOTE (elakdawalla @ Mar 18 2011, 05:32 PM) *
-but in the text and caption I did make an error about how these were all the things in the solar system between 2000 and 6000 km across -- should've stuck with 2500-6000 and I'd've been correct; or just left Triton off and left it at 3000-6000.

It isn't an error - all are in that range.
nprev
Belated congrats after a long night of work to the MESSENGER team for their own many, many long nights of work that resulted in not only a spectacular success but a truly historical achievement. smile.gif
Drkskywxlt
I was in the studio audience last night and I want to give kudos to APL for putting on a very entertaining and informative show. Pretty amazing that by July we'll have spacecraft orbiting 8 solar system bodies (Sun, Mercury, Venus, Earth, Moon, Mars, Vesta and Saturn). Too bad MESSENGER probably won't be around in 2016 when Juno arrives at Jupiter to make it 9!
nprev
QUOTE (elakdawalla @ Mar 18 2011, 09:32 AM) *
Me too smile.gif The challenge for us uber-geeks is to know just from looking at them which spacecraft was responsible for each image.


A challenge indeed, considering Ted's great skill at reprocessing data from older missions!

Okay, I'll take a shot, from left to right (the last one is a gimmie, though):

Messenger, Clementine, Cassini, Galileo, Galileo, Voyager 1, Cassini, Voyager 2.

<braces for humiliation>...

(And congratulations to Stu for his terrific poem posted on Messenger's most special day.... smile.gif )
elakdawalla
You got half right, Nick! wink.gif
tedstryk
The moon looks like an oddly colored earth-based view, Titan is clearly from Cassini. I will ignore the others, since that really wouldn't be fair.
SFJCody
The Mercury view is Mariner 10 - you can see the Caloris basin on the terminator.
Oersted
Congrats to the Messenger team and their new in-house poet, Stu!
brellis
"The challenge for us uber-geeks is to know just from looking at them which spacecraft was responsible for each image. "

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