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MESSENGER’s final image from Mercury

A last image from the MESSENGER spacecraft before crashing onto Mercury’s surface on Thursday. So long, MESSENGER, and thank you.

The image is located within the floor of the 93-kilometer-diameter crater Jokai. The spacecraft struck the planet just north of Shakespeare basin.

Final image from Mercury, from the MESSENGER spacecraft, shortly before impact.

Here is the final image acquired and transmitted back to Earth by the MESSENGER spacecraft on April 30, 2015, shortly before it struck the planet. MESSENGER spent over four years orbiting Mercury. The image is located within the floor of the 93-kilometer-diameter crater Jokai. The spacecraft struck the planet just north of Shakespeare basin.

The MESSENGER mission was planned originally for a one-year orbit around Mercury. NASA said:

As the first spacecraft ever to orbit Mercury, MESSENGER revolutionized our understanding of the solar system’s innermost planet, as well as accomplished technological firsts that made the mission possible.

Check out these movies of the Top 10 Science Results and the Top 10 Technology Innovations from the mission.

Via MESSENGER mission

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Deborah Byrd

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