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


Student and teacher with computer
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.
Virtual Tour
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.
Surface of Mercury

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.

MESSENGER approaches Mercury

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 .

What will MESSENGER measure, and why? Learn about the Mercury Laser Altimeter instrument on board!

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