Messenger Spacecraft Is Closing in on Mercury Crash-Landing

Today, humanity will make a permanent blemish on the surface of Mercury, with a planned spacecraft impact on the planet.

In 2011, NASA’s Messenger probe became the first spacecraft to enter Mercury’s orbit, and it has collected troves of data and photos of the innermost member of our solar system. But the time has come to say goodbye. At 3:26 EDT Thursday, Messenger will slam into the surface of Mercury and leave behind a crater that’s 52 feet in diameter as its lasting legacy.
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