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Exploring Mercury by Spacecraft: The MESSENGER Mission

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  • Provider: YouTube Link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xQ-dm2zHljk
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  • Description: The third lecture in the 2011 Exploring Space Lecture Series featured Sean C. Solomon, the Principal Investigator for the MESSENGER mission and the Director of the Department of Terrestrial Magnetism at the Carnegie Institution of Washington.

    Until recently, Mercury was the least explored of the terrestrial planets, visited only by Mariner 10 in the 1970s. MESSENGER flybys in 2008 and 2009 revealed terrain seen by spacecraft for the very first time. In March 2011, as MESSENGER went into orbit, it opened a new era of comprehensive observation and study of the innermost planet, and continues to contribute to our understanding of the nature of Mercury and why it is different from its planetary neighbors. See Mercury in a new light as Sean Solomon guides us through the latest images and results.

    Presented as a live webcast on Thursday, May 12, 2011 at 8pm ET at the National Air and Space Museum in Washington, DC.

    For more information about past and future Exploring Space Lectures, visit
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