A NASA Discovery mission to conduct the first orbital study of the innermost planet
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For the Community

MESSENGER For Community

mosaic postcards from mercury interactive
Mimic the process used by MESSENGER scientists and make a mosaic of Mercury on the "Print Side." Or, zoom into rayed craters, scarps, volcanic areas and more to explore the unique features that make up this planet using the Surface Interactive. You will find all of the print materials you need to make a mosaic and you might learn something fascinating along the way!
podcasts page
Take an audio tour of Mercury and the MESSENGER spacecraft’s journey to become the first to orbit the innermost planet. Listen to MESSENGER science and engineering team members talk about new scientific findings, the challenges of orbiting the planet closest to our Sun, and more!
the messenger kiosk online
What does it take to get a spacecraft into orbit around Mercury? Watch videos of MESSENGER scientists and engineers captured before the spacecraft launched talking about the making of the mission, and the spectacular opportunities it presents! Hear answers to questions like: What are the challenges? What do we hope to learn? How was the spacecraft designed and built? How will it get to Mercury? What has been discovered so far? Why does it take incredible teamwork for success? You will also find printable PDF files.
geohunter title
Learn more about MESSENGER in these two interactive games, in which you can "Build a Spacecraft" or exlpore the geology of Mercury in "Geohunter."
illustration of scale model of spacecraft
NEW! Make a scale model of the MESSENGER spacecraft! PDF of scale model
Or, would you like more of a challenge? Try this advanced scale model!
student and teacher
If you are interested in finding quality online resources about astronomy and space sciences, be sure to check out Websites of Interest. On these webpages you will find activities and lesson plans that are related to either the MESSENGER mission or other NASA Projects.
 
planet sizes
Take a "virtual" journey into outer space with Messenger. The Virtual Fieldtrip will allow you to travel to destinations far away from your classroom. In addition, the Virtual Animations will allow you to "see" and "investigate" the planet Mercury.
 
Mercury»s Surface
Mercury is the planet closest to the Sun. Since it never strays far in the sky from the Sun’s glare, early astronomers had a difficult time viewing it, and considered it a "wandering star" appearing just before sunrise or just after sunset. Much of what we know about Mercury today was discovered through flybys of the planet during the Mariner 10 space mission in the 1970’s. But Mariner 10 photographed only half the planet’s surface, and many questions remain. Visit Mercury the Elusive Planet to learn more.
 
Spacecraft
Want to learn more? Check out Mercury Fast Facts. If you can not find the information that you are looking for on these pages, check out the Frequently Asked Questions.
 
MESSENGER Spacecraft
What will MESSENGER measure, and why? Learn about the instruments on board!