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If you’re reading this then you probably love space exploration, and if you love space exploration then you know how awesome the MESSENGER mission is — the incredibly successful venture by NASA, Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory, and the Carnegie Institution of Washington to orbit and study the first rock from the Sun in unprecedented detail. Since entering orbit around Mercury on March 18, 2011, MESSENGER has mapped nearly 100% of the planet’s surface, found unique landforms called hollows residing in many of its craters, and even discovered evidence of water ice at its poles! That’s a lot to get accomplished in just two years!
The video above, assembled by Mark ‘Indy’ Kochte, is a tribute to the many impressive achievements of the MESSENGER mission, featuring orbital animations (love that MESSENGER shimmy!), surface photos, and the approach to the planet. Enjoy!
Images and animation stills courtesy NASA/Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory/Carnegie Institution of Washington. Music: “Mercury Ridge” by Simon Wilkinson. Video creation and time-lapse animations by Mark ‘Indy’ Kochte.