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MESSENGER missions ends with crash on Mercury
Posted: Sat, May 2, 2015, 10:42 AM ET (1442 GMT)
MESSENGER in orbit around Mercury (JHUAPL) NASA's MESSENGER mission came to an end Thursday when the spacecraft, out of fuel, crashed on the surface of the planet Mercury. MESSENGER hit the surface of the planet at 3:26 pm EDT (1926 GMT) Thursday as expected. The spacecraft's altitude had been decaying as it ran out of fuel to maintain its orbit. MESSENGER, the first spacecraft to orbit Mercury, had been orbiting the innermost planet since 2011 and long exceeded its planned mission there. The project team said they expected the impact to create a crater more than 15 meters across.
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