NASA craft gets first detailed views of some parts of the planet
Flying within 228 kilometers of the surface of Mercury on September 29, the MESSENGER spacecraft snapped portraits of a portion of the planet that had never before been imaged close-up.
The September 29 encounter was the third and last flyby and gave the craft the gravitational assistance it needs to settle in March 2011 into a yearlong orbit around Mercury, the solar system’s innermost and least explored planet.
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