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Hopkins Spacecraft Becomes First to Orbit Mercury Tonight

Hopkins Spacecraft Becomes First to Orbit Mercury Tonight

At 9

p.m.

today, NASA's

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(MErcury Surface, Space ENvironment, GEochemistry and Ranging) will become the first spacecraft to enter Mercury's orbit. The craft, which is operated by the Johns Hopkins University

, has been racing through the inner solar system for the last six and a half years and will transmit the first new data from Mercury since

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crossed the planet's orbit in 1973. NASA TV will carry a

from the APL's mission control building in Laurel from 8-10

p.m.

And, the APL has a nifty

available to download that allows you to explore MESSENGER's Mercury imaging through Google Earth.

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