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Apr 01 2015

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Not bad for a mission that was only supposed to last a year

MESSENGER Completes 4,000th Orbit of Mercury.

“Thanks to requisite optimization tools and techniques – such as the SciBox science planning tool, customized downlink rate stepping during Deep Space Network contacts, and automated prioritization of data playback with the use of the Consultative Committee for Space Data Systems (CCSDS) file delivery protocol, to name just a few – we have captured more than 275,000 images and downlinked more than four Earth years of data from our comprehensive suite of instruments,” he continued. “MESSENGER really is the little spacecraft that could.”

Its orbit now reaches down to 3.7 miles, and it just completed the first of five weekly maneuvers to keep it barely above the planet’s surface. That means that they’ll get another month of data out of MESSENGER. Amazing.

Permanent link to this article: http://www.newspaceraces.com/2015/04/01/not-bad-for-a-mission-that-was-only-supposed-to-last-a-year/

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