THIS DAY IN HISTORY: Messenger Spacecraft Launches Aboard Delta II in 2004 from Cape Canaveral

By  //  August 3, 2020

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first spacecraft to orbit Mercury

ABOVE VIDEO: NASA Celebrates MESSENGER Mission Prior to Surface Impact on Planet Mercury.

BREVARD COUNTY, FLORIDA – The MESSENGER spacecraft was launched on a Delta II rocket from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center on August 3, 2004.

This spacecraft made history by becoming the first to orbit Mercury.

Also, it found evidence of volcanic activity on the planet and water in its exosphere.

Ultimately, it far exceeded expectations, returning over 200,000 images back to the Earth, far more than the original expectation of at least 1,000.

The mission officially ended on April 30, 2015 when the spacecraft made a planned impact on the planet’s surface.

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The MESSENGER spacecraft was launched on a Delta II rocket from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center on August 3, 2004. (NASA Image)

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