Saturday, October 10, 2015

NASA Releases Another Set of MESSENGER Data

MESSENGER at Mercury. Credit: NASA/Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory/Carnegie Institution of Washington

Data collected during MESSENGER's 43rd through 49th months in orbit around Mercury were released to the public today by NASA's Planetary Data System (PDS), the network of nodes that archives and distributes data from NASA's planetary missions. With this release, all data acquired by the MESSENGER mission are now available online - data collected through eight full Mercury solar days of orbit about the innermost planet in our solar system.

NASA requires that all of its planetary missions archive their data in the PDS to provide documented, peer-reviewed datasets to the research community. This 14th delivery of MESSENGER data extends the formatted raw and calibrated data available at the PDS for the spacecraft's science instruments and the radio science investigation to the period from September 18, 2014, to April 30, 2015, when the MESSENGER mission ended with the spacecraft's anticipated impact onto Mercury's surface.

Ancillary spacecraft, planet, instrument, camera-matrix, and events (SPICE) data from launch through the end of spacecraft operations are included in this release. 

The ACT-REACT QuickMap interactive Web interface to MESSENGER data has been updated to incorporate the full coverage of the Mercury Dual Imaging System (MDIS) orbital data and the Mercury Atmospheric and Surface Composition Spectrometer (MASCS) Visible and Infrared Spectrograph (VIRS) measurements included in this delivery. QuickMap can be accessed via links on the MESSENGER websites at: and

MDIS mosaics can be downloaded from:

The data for this release are available online at:
and all of the MESSENGER data archived at the PDS are available at:

This is the final scheduled release of MESSENGER raw data products. The final release of MESSENGER calibrated and advanced products is scheduled for May 6, 2016.

MESSENGER (MErcury Surface, Space ENvironment, GEochemistry, and Ranging) is a NASA-sponsored scientific investigation of the planet Mercury and the first space mission designed to orbit the planet closest to the Sun. The MESSENGER spacecraft launched on August 3, 2004, and inserted into orbit about Mercury on March 18, 2011 (UTC). After orbiting the planet for more than four years, MESSENGER impacted Mercury on April 30, 2015. Dr. Sean C. Solomon, of the Carnegie Institution of Washington, leads the mission as Principal Investigator. The Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory built and operated the MESSENGER spacecraft and manages this Discovery-class mission for NASA.

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