|Messenger space probe to mercury|
MESSENGER (Mercury Surface Space Environment Geochemistry and Ranging ), is a US spacecraft orbiting the planet Mercury. This spacecraft was launched in August 2004 to study Mercury's chemical composition, geology, and magnetic field.
MESSENGER became the second mission to Mercury. after Mariner 10 in 1975. MESSENGER successufully entered Mercury's orbit on March 17th, 2011. It sent the first photo from Mercury's orbit on March 29th. On March 17th 2012, having collected about 100,000 images, MESSENGER ended its one- year primary mission, and entered an extended mission scheduled to last until March 2013.