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NASA's Messenger Will Crash Into Mercury

The first spacecraft to orbit Mercury, the closest planet to our Sun, will run out of fuel and crash on its surface Thursday, ending its 11-year mission. The half-ton orbiter known by its acronym MESSENGER was launched in August 2004 on a mission to study Mercury’s chemical composition, geology and magnetic field. MESSENGER spiraled through the inner solar system for seven years before reaching its destination. Inserting MESSENGER into orbit proved to be a challenging task, due to the...

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